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Thousands keep their eyes on the sky in the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 09/07/2013
Story By Lauren Stephenson

Thousands keep their eyes on the sky in the Northwoods
MERRILL - Thousands kept their eyes on the sky Saturday in Merrill.

More than 50 planes flew in for the 7th annual Merrill Airport Days on Saturday.

"It's a way to showcase the municipal airport here in Merrill," says flight instructor Steve Krueger.

He believes the annual event gives people a better understanding of the airport's importance.

"We feel it's a very important part to a thriving community," Krueger adds.

Planes of all kinds from helicopters to home-built aircraft to military planes touched down in Merrill.

So did 5 skydivers.

"We have a lot of local businesses that are supporting the airport here today. And it's just great to see the community come together for a community airport," Krueger says.

Community members of all ages enjoyed the day.

Kids like Dalton Pagryzinski rode on the flight simulator.

"It felt like you were flying the whole time, like you're going upside down like three times," Pagryzinski says.

The fly-ins and tricks inspired 11-year-old Skyler Meier.

"The planes just want to make me fly more because it's so amazing when they lift off," explains Meier.

"It's great to see the youth get involved. There's actually going to be a shortage of pilots not too far down the road...It's great to have the family and kids come out and actually look at the airplanes and check them out and see why they fly," says Krueger.

I even got bit by the flying bug.

I got to fly with Steve Krueger in a 1946 Aeronca Champ.

"We have a lot of strength through the community to keep it growing and moving on," adds Krueger.

Strength that could help their economic flight.

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