TUMWATER - About 100 children and their families participated in a paper airplane school Saturday at the Olympic Flight Museum, an event that had people ducking and diving out of the way as orange and lime-green planes buzzed the audience.
Now in its 12th year, the paper airplane flight school gives children and adults a chance to fold and throw different paper airplanes and compete for prizes.
Here’s how the day worked, according to museum volunteer Bill Clow:
Ten tables were set up in the museum, and each had a stack of paper on it with directions on how to fold and make a particular kind of plane. The paper airplanes on display included the Voodoo Dart, the Gypsy Moth, Voyager, the Stealth and the Delta Dart, probably the most familiar design in the room because it was the “one that kids got in trouble with at school,” Clow said.
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Busy throwing their planes before the contest started were Alex Robertson of Olympia and daughters Anna, 6, and Lauren, 9. Robertson, an audiologist, said it was his first time to visit the museum, and he was surprised to learn that one of his former patients was a pilot in World War II. On display at the museum is a North American P-51D Mustang, once piloted by Col. Ted Bullock, who died in August, Clow said.
After a short break and a quick tour of the museum, children and adults competed in two categories – accuracy and distance – to win model airplanes, T-shirts and other prizes.
Darrel Mollenhour of Tumwater created four paper airplanes and planned to compete as an adult. Mollenhour said he has had a lifelong interest in planes and once thought about joining the Air Force. One day he’d like to get his pilot’s license, Mollenhour said.