Approximately 5,000 people attended Planes, Trains & Automobiles last Saturday at the Plant City Airport, according to event organizer and City Commissioner Jason Jones.
“It was a record crowd so I’m very happy with the turnout,” he said.
One hundred and twenty-seven Young Eagle flights were flown, offering youth the chance to take to the skies for the first time. Even those who missed out on the opportunity to take a Young Eagle flight were pleased with all to see and do at the event, from classic automobiles to military vehicles, RC plane displays to K9 demonstrations.
Jason Depoyster, a JetBlue pilot, saw a Facebook post about the event and brought his children Xander and Belle. “I like planes, my son loves trains and automobiles and my daughter’s just along for the ride,” he said.
Even Belle had an opinion about the event. “I liked the pink airplane,” she said.
Xander was fascinated by all the sights. “I want to be a pilot when I grow up but I like all the planes, trains and car,” he said.
Depoyster said the family-friendly event was priced right. “I enjoy these smaller events, you never know what you’re going to see,” he said. “I had the day off and figured we’d just come check it out.”
While the total net proceeds from the event haven’t been officially calculated, Jones estimates the scholarship fund, established this year to provide scholarships for young people interested in aviation careers, will receive $5,000 to $10,000, which will be dispersed through an application process later this year.
Jones is grateful for all the volunteers that helped make the event a success. “The committee did a great job and in the end we introduced a lot of kids to aviation,” he said. “I couldn’t be happier.
Neither could event attendees. While spending time near the exit gates, people offered words of gratitude and high fives for a job well done. “For a community event you can’t ask for anything more,” he said.