Michael Kissel, left, of Cumberland County, and Paul Sipe, right of Paradise, work on a plane at the York Airport in Thomasville. The airport will host
Michael Kissel, left, of Cumberland County, and Paul Sipe, right of Paradise, work on a plane at the York Airport in Thomasville. The airport will host Aviation Day on Saturday and Sunday. (Bryant Hawkins Photo)
Steven Nagorny wasn't a very confident kid. He wasn't the one raising his hand or the one who wanted to be "president of this" or "leader of that."

He took things as they came to him, never seeking anything special for himself.

When he discovered aviation at age 15, his passion for planes was the first thing that inspired him to rise above others.

He mowed lawns and worked at a supermarket to pay for his flight lessons at York Airport, and was issued a pilot's license before a driver's license. He was, he recognizes now, probably the only high school student in York County who could say he had accomplished that.

He's also one of few people who can say they've flown around the world.

Nagorny
Nagorny

The now 57-year-old Spring Garden Township resident said he wants to share the confidence he gained through aviation by introducing others to flight.

He's fulfilling his goal by organizing York Airport's Aviation Day, set for Saturday and Sunday. The event will give the public a chance to see
the airport and explore aircraft.

Proceeds will benefit Faith Flyers, a York-based nonprofit formed to introduce teens to aviation, he said.

Nagorny said that by helping young adults who can't afford flight training, the organization is giving other kids the chance to find their pieces of sky.

"Flying gives them the chance to be responsible," he said. "You're just accountable to you, and thinking for yourself."

About the event: Despite the presence of an airport in the county, few Yorkers have been exposed to flying, and many have a craving to understand it, Nagorny said.

During the two-day event, held 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. both days, people can explore aviation through a variety of activities.

The public can ride in Cessna 172 airplanes and in helicopters. While admission is free, rides cost $25 per person for planes and $35 per person for helicopters.

Four experimental aircraft, built by pilots, will be flying in formation, he said.

A U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopter will be on display, as will some antique airplanes and a restored World War II transport plane, Nagorny said.

People who want to experience flight with both feet on solid ground can use a flight simulator, a machine that simulates the conditions of flying a plane.

Nagorny said the events offered are intended to inspire an interest in aviation, and help people understand how flight works.

"This is a simple and inexpensive way to expose people to flying," he said. "Last year, we were busy beyond compare."

--Reach Christina Kauffman at 505-5436, ckauffman@yorkdispatch.com