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Local People

By Paul Chasko

Young Jaxon Jaki is crazy about planes and wanted something special for his fourth birthday. His parents and pilot Tom Riemer made his wishes come true in a very special way.

Airport Event 007
Doug Campbell loads some eager passengers into his Bonanza for a short flight.

 

After a good bit of cajoling by Mrs. Jaki, Tom Riemer agreed to open up his aircraft hangar at Finleyville Airport for Jaxon’s birthday party, but that wasn’t the best part.

Tom is a pilot and owner of a Cessna RG plane. He’s also a former chairman of the Finleyville Airport Board and is proactive in introducing youngsters to aviation. He’s mentioned that our country is facing a shortage of small plane owners and pilots that are often needed when catastrophes such as those recently occurring in Texas and Puerto Rico.

Tom figures the best way to instill such an interest is to get kids up in a plane, so he had his friend Doug Campbell fly in to Finleyville Airport and help him take anyone interested in short 15-minute flights around the area. Together, they kept Doug’s Bonanza and Tom’s Cessna RG busy for most of the afternoon running flights out of the airport. Most of the kids at the party as well as many of the parents took advantage of the flights. Each flight included a low–level pass over the airport runway, which the kids found pretty thrilling.

 

After the flights, the birthday party in Tom’s hangar commenced with food, drink, cake, and opening of gifts by Jaxon. He’ll remember this birthday for quite a while, and Tom hopes one or two of the attending youngsters may choose flying as a career or hobby.

Airport Event 053
Jaxon Jaki blows out the candles on his birthday cake.

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