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Paper planes soar at Olympic Flight Museum

Paper planes soar at Olympic Flight Museum

Take a trip around the Olympic Flight Museum in Tumwater during its annual Paper Airplane Flight School.
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Take a trip around the Olympic Flight Museum in Tumwater during its annual Paper Airplane Flight School.

There are many factors to consider when picking the ideal paper airplane design.

You can pick a design for its accuracy, for its speed, or because it looks like a Star Wars character.

But, John Sabo explained, it’s important to read the directions, follow those directions, test your plan and make adjustments if you want your paper aircraft to be successful.

Sabo gave this advice to young aviators Saturday afternoon at the Olympic Flight Museum’s annual paper airplane flight school and contest.

“We are just out here having fun, and it’s a chance for kids to learn a little bit about aviation basics,” Sabo said.

Niland Woods, a 9-year-old Lacey boy, chose to fold an unusual looking model called the Canard Plane. He said that to him, the plane looked like Yoda — and that’s why he picked it.

Folding the plane was tricky, and Niland tried to plan ahead.

“I’m trying to think a lot about what I’m trying to do,” Niland said.

Soon, his green plane decorated with brown marker was zooming through the air.

Teri Thorning, executive director of the museum, said that 2017 is the first year that former volunteer Bill Clow hasn’t served as flight instructor at the paper airplane event. He ran the program for 18 years, and recently retired, handing off his duties to other volunteers.

“Bill has educated literally thousands of community youth about aviation,” Thorning said. “We’ll miss him.”

With or without Clow, the museum is a wonderful place for people interested in learning more about aviation, Sabo said. It’s one of three flight museums in Washington state that actually fly their historic aircraft.

“Our planes actually get to be alive instead of just sitting in a museum,” Sabo said.

The Olympic Flight Museum will also host its annual air show on Father’s Day weekend, June 17 and 18.

Amelia Dickson: 360-754-5445, @Amelia_Oly

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