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Old Bridge Flight School welcomes public to open house on June 11

OLD BRIDGE – The Old Bridge Flight School welcomes the public to its open house next week.

Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter 315 will offer free Young Eagles introductory airplane flights to children between ages 8-17 on June 11 at Old Bridge Airport, 182 Pension Road.

“We have 60 flights planned,” said Stan Berger, who serves as the AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots) volunteer for Old Bridge Airport.

The Young Eagles program is designed to give young people an exposure to recreational flying and enables them to see how a pre-flight inspection and flight planning are done to ensure the maximum safety of their flight.

EAA began the program in 1997, and to date more than two million young people have been flown.

The open house will also feature a radio control club’s static displays of model airplanes, a drone operator’s display of large commercial drones and a food truck with food and ice cream.

The Old Bridge Airport, which is a public-use airport, hosted its first open house in 2014. It is located next to the Old Bridge Raceway Park.

The 308-acre property on Pension Road was purchased by Vincent Napoliello Sr. and his brother Louis in April 1964. It was first developed as a drag racing strip now known as Raceway Park. Over time the Napoliello name was shortened to one syllable as most people now refer to the property owners as the Napp family.

During construction of the raceway, the elevation of the drag strip needed to be elevated so the Napps excavated some dirt from another section of the property, which creating a long narrow lake.

Vincent Sr. also held a pilot certificate and would often travel by air from his home in East Orange where he would land his float equipped Cessna on the newly created lake. The site would eventually become an official Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved facility known as the Madison Township Seaplane Basin.

The raceway officially opened in 1965 with Vincent Napoliello Sr. passing away four years later in 1969. Louis Napoliello continued to run the business until his death in 1983.

Sometime in the mid-1970s, an adjacent paved runway was constructed and eventually airplane hangars and an office were built.

Currently, there are no longer any float plane operations, but the property is now home to approximately 100 aircrafts. The airport property is still owned by the Napp family.

The Open House will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 11. Rain date is June 12.

For information about the event contact Stan Berger at 732-539-4180 or stan1997@optonline.net.

For questions about the Young Eagles flights contact Robert Hartmaier at 732-599-2099    or rchartmaier@comcast.net.

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