Carl Hopkins Aviation Expo returns for the second year

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) — The Carl Hopkins Aviation Expo is now an annual event that started with an idea to give back.

It was founded in 2021 and is named after the man who started the first model aviation club in Clarksburg.

His legacy lives on through people like Ed Waske who want to help young minds realize there is a career in aviation.

“Since I was 6 years old there have been so many people helping me and giving me advice and to be able to train this for the community, it’s nice to be able to organize it and have it happen for residents of north-central West Virginia,” Waske said.

Waske says the state’s aviation industry represents a savings of $1.1 billion.

“Last year was the first year and we had over 560 kids that we were able to expose to model aviation and also explain to them that there are a lot of careers that can lead to it,” Waske said.

There will be airplane tours, flight simulators, basic rocket flights, drones and more at the exhibit.

The hope is to inspire young minds and spark interest in a little-known field.

“Question after question, when you gave them something to take away, we know it stuck and sparked a bit of interest in them going forward,” Waske said.

“I just look at what people have done for me and it’s nice to be able to do that,” Waske said.

The event will take place at the Bridge Sports Complex on August 19 and 20 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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