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Public gets inside look at planes during Jefferson Fly-In

By Naomi Prioleau
Sept. 27, 2014 at 10 p.m.

<p>Pilots had their planes on display which gave the public who were able to look at and sit inside the numerous planes that flew in Saturday morning.</p>

Everyone said the weather was perfect on Saturday for planes to have a proverbial "fashion" show at the 9th annual Jefferson Fly-In.

Planes from every year, every style and every color were on display at the yearly event that gives pilots the chance to land at the Cypress River Airport and interact with their peers and locals.

Raymond Keasler, organizer of the event, has flown more than 27,000 hours in his 78 years of living. He served as both an airline pilot and a fighter pilot in the Air Force and said he wanted to make the aviation community excited to come to Jefferson.

"We have this event to let the aviation community have an introduction to Jefferson, to give them the idea to come back to Jefferson," he said. "We want to generate enthusiasm for the aviation community to come to Jefferson."

The former pilot worked for more than a decade to make the Cypress River Airport a place for pilots to use. After landing pilots can take a courtesy car to Jefferson and explore the area.

"As a kid flew at this airport and it was all grass, when I retired this was a hayfield," he said. "A judge said to go out and fix the airport and I dedicated 14 years to fixing it up."

This year's fly-in brought in more pilots and more people interested in aviation. Keasler's pride for Jefferson was one the reasons for creating the fly-in. He added that the way pilots are treated is another reason why so many appreciated the event.

"A lot of pilots like to come here. There's no other fly-ins where they are treated like celebrities," Keasler said. "Everyone in the airplane gets to eat free and a lot of pilots want to fly in general anyway and are looking for a place to go, so we created this. The idea is just to promote Jefferson."

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