Burnet community welcomes Freedom Flyers facility
BURNET — Dozens of city leaders and residents attended the Jan. 10 grand opening of the new Freedom Flyers training and education facility for youngsters, veterans and aviation enthusiasts.
“It allows us to work in a more hands-on environment with kids in the Hill Country area,” Freedom Flyers Executive Director David Smiles said. “Learning aviation by having access to aircraft is a very different experience than just learning in a classroom.”
The 100,000-square-foot building, located at 3202 U.S. 281 south of the Burnet Municipal Airport, was built with money donated by a private benefactor. The nonprofit organization, which has served the area for about two years, relies on donations and fundraisers to operate programs and services.
Programs offered at the new facility will include aviation training camps for youth, aircraft maintenance and restoration services as well as transportation for veterans in need of special medical services.
The group, comprised of more than a dozen members, stores five aircraft (some military vintage) at the facility for tours, education, transport and training.
For more on the Freedom Flyers program and its impact on the local community, pick up a copy of the Jan. 16 issue of The Picayune.
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Leah Fry takes a photo of her husband, Josh Fry, with their son, Aden, in front of a Navy SNJ vintage aircraft at the grand opening Jan. 10 of the new Freedom Flyers facility in Burnet. Staff photo by Connie Swinney
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Freedom Flyer volunteers Mitzi Logan (left) and David Kemp, along with Burnet Mayor Gary Wideman, volunteer Dave Sturm and organization founder Cowden Ward celebrate the grand opening of the nonprofit aviation organization’s new facility in Burnet. Staff photo by Connie Swinney
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Janice and Van Estill of Fall Creek Vineyard, pictured with Burnet Chamber of Commerce board member Brandon Arrington, serve attendees wine during the Freedom Flyers Grand Opening event Jan. 10. Staff photo by Connie Swinney
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Mark McCary of Marble Falls and his daughter, Kate, check out the propeller of a vintage plane stored at the new Freedom Flyers facility in Burnet. Staff photo by Connie Swinney
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Executive Director David Smiles (left) shows off the classroom portion of the new Freedom Flyers facility in Burnet for Monica and Paul Farmer during a grand opening tour of the building Jan. 10. Staff photo by Connie Swinney