OLD BRIDGE – Young and old were able to enjoy Old Bridge Flight School’s open house.
A number of model airplanes including military aircraft from the U.S. Army and U.S. Airforce were on display. The New Jersey State Police flew in its helicopter for some show and tell.
For those who attended the open house, they were able to climb in the aircrafts and take a look inside the cockpits during the open house at Old Bridge Airport on June 11.
The open house also featured 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.
Members of the South Old Bridge Volunteer Fire Department District No. 3 were also on hand.
Experimental Aircraft Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter 315 offered 60 free Young Eagles introductory airplane flights to children between ages 8-17.
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 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.
For questions about the Young Eagles flights contact Robert Hartmaier at 732-599-2099 or firstname.lastname@example.org.