Annual event set for Friday at Havelock Tourist and Event Center

Perhaps one of the best ways for children to learn is for them not to realize they are learning.

That’s one of the goals of the Eastern Carolina Aviation Heritage Foundation’s annual Fly-In and Movie Night from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Havelock Tourist and Event Center.

The event features plenty of activities, demonstrations and displays that focus on science, technology, engineering and math, as well as the showing of the Disney movie “Moana” beginning around 7 p.m.

“It’s always a fun event,” said Amanda Ohlensehlen, a member of the foundation and Havelock’s economic developer. “The kids won’t realize how much they are learning, and we hope to inspire them to take more of an interest in those science and math classes in school and maybe chose a career in aviation that is such a big part of this area.”

Ohlensehlen said the focus is on fun, with many interactive activities and demonstrations that are all free. Exhibits will include topics such as meteorology, aerodynamics, Fleet Readiness Center East engineering and even an aviation physiologist.

“They are the ones who make sure the pilots are physically able to fly,” Ohlensehlen said. “They’ll have some demonstrations and some tests that the pilots go through. I don’t completely understand it, so I’ll be learning about it as well.”

Children will be able to have their pictures taken in flight gear and be able to explore the equipment needed for the Havelock Fire and Rescue Department. Cherry Point’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal team will also have a display.

“That’s always a huge hit,” Ohlensehlen said.

The foundation’s regular exhibits will also be on display, including the opening of the CH-46 Pedro helicopter. Ohlensehlen said aviation foundation members, many of whom are former pilots, will be on hand for further explanation of the exhibits.

“We’ll have a variety of giveaways so the kids can take something home with them,” she said.

The Fly-In, now entering its seventh year, regularly draws about 400 children, Ohlensehlen said. It is a rain or shine event. Concessions will be available, with each item costing about $1.

“It’s one of our largest events of the year,” Ohlensehlen said. “It’s a way for us to celebrate our community while giving families something fun do surrounding education and aviation.”

For more information, call the Havelock Tourist and Event Center at 444-4348 or go online to the Eastern Carolina Aviation Heritage Foundation website at