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Women in Aviation: Ada Air Expo

The 7th Annual Ada Air Expo (www.adaairexpo.com) is June 25 and 26 in Central Oklahoma. Since 2010 is the 100th anniversary of the first licensed female pilot, this year's show will honor Women in Aviation. Headlining this memorable event is a legend in the industry, Julie Clark (americanaerobatics.com). Her aerobatic routine is well known for its grace as well as the brave ruggedness of her flying skills. She will open the Ada Air Expo with a twilight performance at 8:20 p.m., followed by an outdoor showing of the Chickasaw Nation production of "Pearl." This much talked about movie is the story of Pearl Carter Scott, a Chickasaw native who was the youngest licensed pilot and was taught to fly by Oklahoma's own Wiley Post.

Planes will be arriving all day on Friday; in addition, there will be a chance to grab some ultimate rush by tandem skydive jumping with the pros from Skydive Tulsa and Skydive Cherokee from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Weather permitting, there will be tethered hot air balloon rides from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. A hamburger cookout sponsored by the Ada Chapter 1005 Experimental Aircraft Association is open to the public from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Saturday morning is the annual Ray Stout Memorial Warbird Fly-in, always an exciting opportunity to watch these proud birds fly, then visit with the pilots while checking out their famous aircraft. Expo sponsors are hoping attendees will also have the privilege of meeting heroic representatives from the 99s, WASPs and Rosie the Riveters.

The air show itself begins at 11 a.m. Joining Clark in the air will be more famous Women in Aviation: Julia Wood, Kate Kyre, Michele Bright and Kelly Pietrowicz. Also flying are Justin Lewis, Paul Jennings, Patrick Carter (acroflights.com) and Brian Correll (welkinaero.com), whose antics throw a little change up into the show.

But there will be more hands-on fun from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, as both helicopter and airplane rides will be available. Note: Helicopter rides will continue, but the airplane rides will shut down from about 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. during the air show.

In addition to all the adventures in the sky, Saturday also is the annual Ada Lions "Pigs Can Fly" KCBS State Championship BBQ Cookoff. Platters and tasting plates will be available for purchase.

Indeed, there is plenty more for those who prefer to keep their feet on the ground, such as a variety of vendors. For those who would rather be on two or four wheels, there will be a Motorcycle Poker Run and a Car Show on Saturday.

Ada's Air Expo is a long way from being just another air show. The excitement begins early Friday morning and doesn't stop until the last aircraft leaves the runway on Saturday evening.

For more information, visit www.adaairexpo.com or call Jennifer with Pontotoc County Marketing & Tourism at 405-474-0511. It is suggested that you make your lodging reservations now.

Editor's note: Susen Foster is the owner of Greater Success Advertising. She is the author of numerous travel books. Susen can be reached at www.greatersuccess.com or call 580-622-5408.

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