July 11, 2018
First Wing Jet Center will host the 12th annual Open House and Fly-In at Indianapolis Executive Airport (TYQ) in Zionsville, IN, on Aug. 4, with the proceeds benefiting Down Syndrome Indiana (DSI). “The event has raised more than $165,000 since its founding in 2006, but that’s a value added to its primary mission – to make the airport a friendly place for the community and demonstrate that it is a good neighbor,” said Sean White, the FBO’s general manager.
“With bounce houses, magic shows, super heroes, and princess sing-alongs, not every activity has to do with aviation,” said White, “but everyone is exposed to aviation.” Local parachutists drop in and commemorative Air Force and Civil Air Patrol aircraft are on display. RC models and a Huey helicopter fly, T-6 Texans offer rides and the FBO’s flight training department offers discovery flights.
Many of the attendees and aviation contributors are repeat participants, locals with a continuing relationship with the airport. “We have a diverse group of business jet operators based at our airport,” said White, noting that they are steadfast supporters with donations to the raffle and silent auction, and appreciative of the event’s multifaceted goal of showing another side of aviation’s community contributions.
The open house, which grew from about 500 participants its first year to more than 5,000 last year. begins at 7:30 a.m. with a pancake breakfast; several food trucks cater to the crowd throughout the day. “The staff used to cook and sell hot dogs and burgers, with the proceeds going to DSI, until the attendees overwhelmed them,” said White. “So the FBO developed relationships with the food trucks, which have agreed to donate a portion of their proceeds to DSI.”
Indianapolis Executive Airport is one of the region’s most active general aviation airports, supporting businesses and industry in communities across Hamilton, Boone and Marion counties. A recent study showed that the airport supports nearly 2,400 jobs in the region and has an annual economic impact on the region of over $430 million.