Dulles Day Plane Pull: Bigger and Better Than Ever in 2011

Published: September 20, 2011

Sept. 24 Event Benefiting Special Olympics Virginia Evolves to New Level


After setting an attendance record of over 20,000 spectators last year, the 2011 Dulles Day Family Festival and Plane Pull is set to enhance the fan experience for the public this year. Dulles was the first airport in the world to host a Plane Pull in 1993. Since then, the annual airfield event has raised over $1.1 million to benefit Special Olympics Virginia and its athletes.

Major enhancements this year will include:

  • Bigger teams – participation has been increased from 20 to 25 people per team.
  • Bigger plane – teams will wrestle an 82-ton FedEx Airbus A310, versus the 55-ton Boeing 727 of past plane pulls.
  • Better food options – fans can enjoy Chick-fil-A sandwiches, Merone’s Italian food, Famous FamigliaPizza, grill-cooked burgers and hotdogs and more.
  • More locations to take a break from the weather or buy a bottle of water for $1.
  • New fan highlights including a pizza eating contest (2pm), door prize drawings for air travel, and hourly airfield tours aboard the airport’s signature “Mobile lounges.”
  • More for the kids – The kids’ zone (including kids’ school bus pull) has grown each year to include more activities like moon bounces and dunk tanks. Kids can also see snow removal trucks and public safety vehicles up close.

The signature event will pit over 60 teams in a tug of war against a FedEx Express plane which is timed with precision equipment. The trophy for the fastest 12-foot pull is a coveted prize, claimed the last four years by the Chesapeake VA Sheriff’s Office--which will defend its streak in the final pull of the day. Other teams will also be recognized in other categories.
Admission and parking are free of charge. Patrons are welcomed to make a donation onsite to Special Olympics Virginia if they wish. The Dulles Day Family Festival and Plane Pull will be held rain or shine on Saturday from 11am until 4pm at Dulles International Airport.

For more information, to register your team, sign up to exhibit or volunteer, or for sponsorship details, visit www.planepull.com or call 703-359-4301.  For media questions, contact Holly Claytor at 804-726-3025 / hclaytor@specialolympicsva.org, or Rob Yingling at 703-417-8744 /rob.yingling@mwaa.com.

Special Olympics is a year-round international program of sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in the sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.  By using sport as a vehicle for social change, Special Olympics Virginia strives to create opportunities for meaningful interaction and self discovery for everyone, and the organization’s goal is to open the heart and mind of every Virginian to the value and ability of the intellectually disabled.  Special Olympics Virginia Inc. is the state program of Special Olympics Incorporated.