Alaska Aviation Festival showcases American history

 Families gather at Alaska Aviation Festival.
Families gather at Alaska Aviation Festival. (KTUU)
Published: Jul. 16, 2017 at 3:16 PM AKDT
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Dozens of families met at the Alaska Aviation Museum on Sunday.

Organizers for the festival said it is meant to bring community members together to understand what aviation means to the state.

Michael Buzinski, a board member for the museum said the event is not about fundraising.

"This is not a big fundraiser for us, this is more about giving back to the community that we serve and making sure that people understand what aviation has been to the state and what it's gonna be to the state in the future," Buzinski said.

The event features modern day and vintage planes.

John Pletcher, who owns an amphibious 1944 Grumman Goose, said it's a plane utilized by the U.S. Navy with rich history.

"In the 1960's, it was surplussed out to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife and it served there in the 1960's and it was parked on the East end of Lake Spenard in 1971 or '72," Pletcher said. "I don't know exactly right off hand and it sat there for about 25 years."

"The fellow that owned it, who had been a mechanic with U.S. Fish and Wildlife died and so I pick it up off the estate and we rebuilt it," he said.

Pletcher said the plane still flies.

"It's wonderful, it taxis up on to beaches, it's very versatile. It's very rugged and it hauls a lot of people and a lot of stuff and it's just a great old airplane," Pletcher said.

In addition to the planes, visitors of the museum can enjoy a photo exhibit by the Smithsonian Institution from now through the end of the year.