2024 Dulles Plane Pull

2024 Dulles Plane Pull® FAQ's

We know you have questions. We have answers.

When is the 2023 the Dulles Day Festival and Plane Pull® presented by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority?

The 2023 event will be held on Saturday, September 9, 2023.

Do you need volunteers this year?

Yes! We are excited to welcome over 400 necessary volunteers needed to make this even run smoothly. Please visit https://cerv.is/0218x628to register!

Contact Izzy Nelsonwith any volunteer questions.

How do I sponsor the 2024 Dulles Plane Pull®?

Thank you for your interest! We could not host such a successful event each year without our generous corporate partners. The Plane Pull® is a great event to give your organization great exposure while also supporting PLANE amazing community organization. Please contact to Ellen Head to schedule a meeting to learn how to support the over 18,000 athletes of Special Olympics Virginia.

Sponsorship information can be found HERE!

Where do volunteers and teams enter/park at the event?

The 2023 event will continue to occur in the cargo area of Dulles International Airport and all volunteers and attendees will enter the event in this area.

Attendees should plan on driving to the airport and following the signs for "Event Parking" which will take them to a FREE parking garage or lot. They will then be shuttled a short distance in ADA compliant shuttles buses to the event gate. Please note that there is much walking involved at this event and wheelchairs and strollers and encouraged and will fit on shuttles. We DO NOT have any to rent at the event.

Volunteers will receive specific parking information from a Plane Pull representative closer to the event. If you do not receive this information by the week of the event, please contact Nicole Kratzer or Izzy Nelson.

Is the event Metro accessible?
Yes! We are encouraging attendees to take Metro to Dulles Day. The event can be reached at via the Silver Line. Attendees should get off at the typical Dulles Airport stop and proceed to the garage exit to take the shuttle to the event. Please remember that we have a stadium bag policy so metro riders that do bring a non clear bag will need to dispose of it or return without attending the event.

What time do gates open and close?

Event gates will open at 10:30 am with the Plane Pull event beginning at 11 am. Shuttle service from the garage ends at 3 pm, gates will close at 3:30 pm to new attendees and the event will end at 4 pm.

What time should my team arrive?

All teams will be able to select their pull time window once they raise the minimum donation of $2,500 and their suggested event arrival time will be based on that.

Teams should plan to arrive on airport property between an hour and a half and an hour and fifteen minutes prior to their scheduled pull time window. This will give them ample time to park/get off the metro, take the shuttle to the event, go through event security, walk to Plane Pull team check in at the far end of the festival and have enough time for each Plane Pull participant to officially check in before they pull.

Please note: We have a stadium bag policy; no bags over 5x7, backpacks, coolers, firearms, knives, weapons, balloons or pets (unless service animals) are allowed. Baby bags and bags for medical purposes are allowed but must be hand searched. Firearms and other weapons are only to be in possession by on duty, uniformed members of law enforcement. All event attendees must pass through security prior to admission, so please prepare for a potential delay at entry.

What can I bring with me?

No need to check bags when coming to IAD for the Plane Pull! Due to the high security of the event space, bags are not allowed inside on the runway unless for emergency medical care purposes. Participants should leave all bags inside their car or at home if taking the metro. If participants need to bring in a small 5x7 bag or clear bag they should build in extra time as it will need to be searched at security at the event entrance.

Full personal water bottles are not allowed but empty ones are! We will have plenty of water for sale on site as well as ways to fill your refillable water bottle. Forgot it at home? No worries! We have ones for sale.

In addition, hats and sunscreen are encouraged. If there is rain in the forecast, ponchos and umbrellas are a must! We also suggest that all participants bring gloves with them for their turn to pull.

Where do we get our team shirts?

Team captains or their representative have the ability to pick up their box of team shirts on September 7 and 8 from noon - 4 pm at our partner hotel the Westin Washington Dulles. Details about this will be sent to team captains closer to the event. Team captains can also pick up their box of shirts at the event. We recommend that you do send someone on the 7 or 8 as the large box of shirts may be hard to carry and participants may want their shirts in advance.

If I'm on a team can I get in the event quicker?

Yes! We love our teams and we prioritize their entrance into the festival. Any team captains that have the ability to come pick up their team shirts early on September 7 & 8 at the Westin Washington Dulles will get bracelets to allow their fellow team members to go though a priority security line on event day.

Please note, no guests can come though this gate with team members and there will be no bags allowed in the priority security line.

Where should I meet my team?

Please connect with your team captain about where individual teams will meet. While it is totally up to each team, we typically recommend that teams gather adjacent to team check in. Team captains are welcome to bring a sign or a flag but since we are on an active runway, no balloons please!

What if it rains?

This event is rain or shine. Any schedule updates will be posted to the homepage.

How can I see the Plane Pull team schedule?

As the event nears, team captains are asked to select their competition window in the order each team met the $2,500 donation minimum. Scheduled pull times are approximate windows. If you are uncertain when your team is pulling, please reach out to your team captain to confirm when you will be competing.

How many teams can participate in Plane Pull?

In 2022, over 80 teams participated on two planes in Plane Pull. This year we hope to welcome even more!

How many people can be on a team?

The magic number of people that we know can pull a plane successfully is 25. Teams are welcome to come with as little as 10 people. We will have volunteers and our athletes fill the ranks to get you to 25. Teams can have as many as 35 people fit on the rope. If a team has more than 35 people interested in participating we suggest that they create 2 teams!
Please note, teams of 25 or less are considered "competitive teams" and are in the running to win the fastest pull competition. Teams of over 25 members would be pulling just for fun which many teams choose to do.

Who can participate in the competition?

The Plane Pull® is open to anyone who registers, so grab your friends, coworkers, family or anyone who wants to join in this meaningful fun. Corporate teams and organizations are encouraged to join, and sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting Ellen Head.

Does every participant need to preregister?
Yes! Every person that plans to pull the plane on September 9th must register online with their team prior to arriving on-site at the event. This will ensure that your team will be able to pull on time and not miss your window. Anyone that shows up day of that has not already registered will be required to do so at the event and can slow up the check in process.

If your team needs assistance with the registration process prior to the event, please reach out to Emily!

What is the minimum team donation?

Teams must raise a minimum of $2,500 to participate in Plane Pull®, which is only $100/person! All individuals that raise $100 by Monday, September 4 will receive the exclusive Plane Pull® medal. Teams that raise $3,000 by August 1 will receive custom backs on their 25 team t-shirts. So set your goal SKY high to make a big impact on the lives of the over 18,000 Special Olympics Virginia athletes.

Check out all of or PLANE awesome incentives!

Teams who want to guarantee their spot on the ropes before raising the minimum donation can fill out a credit card authorization form. If the minimum donation is raised by a month post event this will get destroyed.

My team has cash and checks. Where do they go?

All "offline" funds can be sent to the Special Olympics Virginia Fairfax Office.

Special Olympics Virginia
Attn: Plane Pull
11350 Random Hills Rd
C-140
Fairfax, VA 22032

In order for them to count towards your event day total, they must be received in the office by September 1. Funds may also be turned at team check in on event day.
*Please note that if your team plans to do so, please arrive early so it does not cause you to miss your pull time window.

What if my team doesn’t raise the full $2,500?

If your Plane Pull® team doesn’t raise the full $2,500, you can charge the remaining balance to a team member’s credit card by filing out this form. Special Olympics will charge your card 30 days after the event to give your team additional time to fundraise the remaining balance if you choose so nothing may need to be charged to the card!

My team raised money but we’ve decided not to compete.

If your team raises the partial or full donation amount but does not compete, your current donation amount on the day of the event will still be collected to support Special Olympics Virginia’s athletes. Thank you!

To all of our Plane Pull Pals; including any interested Vendors/Exhibitors, Spectators & More!

Thank you for your interest in attending this important annual fundraiser! Our new food vendor and community exhibitor portal can be found HERE!

Questions? Contact Nicole Kratzer!

Where are some places that my donation will go?

Did you know that Special Olympics Virginia has been providing health services for our athletes though the Healthy Athlete initiative for many years? This program has never been more essential than it is now as it helps our athlete’s access quality health care and promote the importance of equitable health services for all. Currently, Special Olympics Virginia is committed to finding innovative ways to support our athletes even when we can’t be with all them physically in person yet. Through virtual fitness, online programming and social media, we promise to keep doing our job and finding ways for our athletes and supporters to get involved. In addition, we are currently, slowly, working our way back to the playing field. Your donation will help keep this essential program going during this time in addition to helping to welcoming athletes back on to the playing field.