Up, up and away

Though the group hadn't gone up yet, most of the kids weren't too nervous, but overflowing with excitement.

Ryan Luibrand, 12, said he was excited and thought the event was pretty cool.

"I've never been on a plane before," he said.

Alex and Ted Gross, 14-year-old identical twins, said they have been on plenty of large planes because they travel a lot, but neither recalls going up in a small plane like what was flying out of the aero dome.

"I think I'm going to really enjoy it," Ted said. "I hope the flight goes well."

The boys took off a short time later with pilot David Lee at the controls and both looked like they were ready to get in the air and see the sights from above.

Their fellow Scout Dan Dergon, 15, said he was a little nervous, but definitely excited.

"It's exciting because last time I wasn't able to go," he said.

Quite possibly traveling the furthest of the bunch and camping out the night before was Boy Scout Troop 750 from Henrietta, a suburb of Rochester.

"We love coming down and working with Captain Haggerty," Scout Master Dan Nistico said. "People are coming from all around."

Nistico is an Onondaga County native and proudly sported a Syracuse Orange sweatshirt.

According to Haggerty, for the most part the younger kids don't get nervous and over the years he's only had a few back out and choose not to go up in the air. The pilots usually take the kids up between 1,000 and 1,500 feet.

Flying since he was 17, Haggerty's 44 years of flight experience include flying with the US Air Force over Vietnam, then as a pilot with Flying Tiger, which merged with Federal Express and when it merged he continued flying for FedEx.

Aviation Day was organized by Haggerty and his wife, Karen. Pilots flying throughout the day included Haggerty, Bill Bush, David Lee, Jim English and Rich Pinkowski.

"We flew a total of 97 kids. That may be a record for us," Bush said. "There were seven adult leaders camping over with the troop from Rochester and I gave rides to all of them afterwards, after the event was over."

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