Visitors impressed by show
European couple among thousands see classic cars, planes at Howland airfield
HOWLAND — Carla Eichholtz said she has been in many cities in the United States this summer, but the Amsterdam, Holland, resident said her time in northeastern Ohio has been among her favorite.
Eichholtz and her husband, Cor Honwaart, were spending Sunday afternoon with Tim and Jan Laughner of Warren at the sixth annual Wings-n-Wheels show held at SLOAS Airfield.
While temperatures reached into the lower 90s, it didn’t stop thousands of visitors from seeing antique and classic cars and vintage-style planes.
The European visitors liked the numerous planes, including one flown by Warren residents Mike Papalios and Mark Paul.
Jan Laughner said she met Eichholtz in Las Vegas and invited her and her husband to visit them in Warren.
“Even though it was really hot today, it was cool to see all the beautiful cars and planes. I am more of a car person, but my nephew flies planes so we came to watch,” Laughner said.
Tim Laughner said he is also interested in the cars but wanted to see his nephew Papalios in his plane in a flyover.
Papalios and Paul flew one plane with white smoke following behind them as they moved from the runway into the sky.
“It’s called a smoke out,” Paul said.
Eichholtz said the day was fun and exciting.
“We don’t see so many old cars and planes together like this in Holland. I was so glad we had the opportunity to come here and see all this. I have enjoyed the visit to Ohio and consider it one of the top moments of my time here,” she said, noting she has also visited New York, Philadelphia and Boston.
Bill Griffin, director of the Ernie Hall Aviation Museum and event co-organizer, said the event draws between 5,000 and 6,000 people with money raised for the museum, Animal Welfare League of Trumbull County and Northeast Ohio Adoption Services.
The event drew more than 900 classic cars displayed on one side of the airfield runway and the vintage planes on the other side.
“Every year I have people telling me they look forward to this event. We have such a great venue here for airplanes, why not show cars as well? That way car people can look at the airplanes and the airplane people can look at the cars,” Griffin said.
He said the event raises $20,000 or more each year with $100,000 raised in the past five years for the local charities and the museum.
Caleb Nicula, 11, of Fowler, spent time with his mother, Shawna Nicula, looking at the different planes.
“I liked getting to see the planes,” Caleb said.
Darlene Mink-Crouse of Warren said she is impressed how many people will stop by for the event.
“It is a wonderful event and always worth coming out to see. There are people from all over who stopped today to see the museum, the cars and the planes,” she said.
The day’s events also included the induction of four individuals into the museum’s Hall of Fame — Tom Grohl, Bill Hunter, Gary Hunter and Lou Kostoff, who have all been pilots or involved in aviation.