Hundreds of pairs of eyes turned skyward Saturday afternoon at the Gould Peterson Municipal Airport’s Wingnuts Flying Circus airshow in Tarkio, Missouri.

Planes of different models and sizes braved the air with stunts, accompanied by the occasional parachuter.

Missouri’s 6th Congressional District Representative and Tarkio native Sam Graves also flew his T-6 German fighter plane in the airshow.

“This is something that I love to do, and having our own airshow in Tarkio is even more special because it is my hometown. I’ve been flying since I was 16,” Graves said.

Graves said a number of pilots were in attendance from across the country.

“We had folks here from New York. We had folks here from Wisconsin, Minnesota, and a lot of folks from Texas. Folks come from all over for this event, so it’s good for the whole area,” Graves said.

Prior to the show was an aviation town hall meeting allowing aviation committees, politicians and community members to share their concerns regarding the aviation industry. Participants included FAA Acting Administrator Dan Elwell, House Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon), Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Rick Larsen (D-Washington), Rep Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois), Rep Sharice Davids (D-Kansas), and Rep David Rouzer (R-North Carolina).

Graves said that airports such as the Gould Peterson are important for development and growth in communities such as Tarkio.

“One of the things that we’re trying to do is make sure that people understand how important our small airports are and why they mean so much. Whether that’s medical evacuation, bringing doctors in, business or economic development, whatever the case may be for transportation. These airports are very, very important,” Graves said.

For more information on the Gould Peterson Municipal airport or the Wingnuts Flying Circus Tarkio Air Show you can visit www.wignutsflyingcircus.com online

Abby Trapp can be reached

at abby.trapp@newspressnow.com

Follow on Twitter at @NPNowTrapp