By KEN CARPENTER
Great Bend Post
GREAT BEND — Thousands of people made their way to the Great Bend Municipal Airport this weekend for the Great Bend Airfest. Two air shows on Saturday and one on Sunday dazzled the crowds of spectators who also got to meet the airshow pilots and view a number of aircraft and displays on the ground.
Tom Mahoney of Dorrance Kansas exhibited the replica of a Nieuport 17 French-designed bi-plane that was the first successful fighter aircraft in World War One. Mahoney recently retired after 20 years as a commercial airline pilot and was glad he participated in the show.
“I think they did a tremendous job here,” Mahoney said. “This is one of the best shows I’ve seen with the different types and quality of show planes that they’ve had. Really nicely done; really well organized.”
A nighttime show was staged at Airfest for the first time. It followed a patriotic celebration of local veterans on Saturday night. U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, who was born in Great Bend, delivered the speech honoring the veterans.