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Special guest lands at Old Time Fly-In
A special guest made a surprise appearance at the Colusa County Aviation Association's 16th annual Old Time Fly-In at the Colusa County Airport on Saturday.
Julie Clark and her T-34 Mentor took a break from performing in air shows to enjoy a weekend of flying with friends from her home airport in Cameron Park.
For more than 30 years, she has entertained spectators at air shows with her Beechcraft-built military trainer and is a member of the International Council of Air Shows Hall of Fame.
The retired Northwest Airlines captain has been a pilot for more than 42 years, according to her website.
Clark flew from Cameron Park with four other planes: three Globe Swifts and a Chinese-built Nanchang CJ-6 piloted by Dennis Nickson.
The fly-in was her first time on the ground in Colusa, but she is knows the area from the sky quite well. An important milestone in her career took place in Willows, where she made her air show debut in 1978, Clark said.
"It was great, everyone was so friendly and welcoming," she said of her morning in Colusa.
Her group made two low passes, and Clark and one of the Globe Swift planes unleashed a trail of smoke. The group did a single file pass and a formation pass.
Her presence at the fly-in provided a boost of excitement to an already successful event which saw an event record 132 planes touch down for a pancake breakfast and a barbecue lunch.
Pilots from as far away as Olinda in Southern California attended the event. The oldest plane to make a stop in Colusa was John Cabigas' 1940 Piper J-3 Cub which made the short hop from Yuba City.
Last year, fewer than 70 planes flew in for the event due to a layer of fog, but this year the weather cooperated, Randy Johnson, the chairman of the Colusa County Airport Committee, said.
The Old Time Fly-in began 16 years ago as a way to give pilots a chance to socialize and to provide a place for children to come to the airport and see aircraft up close, Johnson said.
"It's just kind of our way of getting people to meet everybody and getting kids in to see the planes. For some of the retired pilots It brings back a heck of a lot of memories for them," he said.
The event couldn't have been put on without the help of members of the community, the Colusa County Aviation Association and the airport committee, Johnson said.
Crystal Dairy, Chung Sun Market and Messick Ace Hardware donated equipment and goods which made the event possible, he said.
"It was a good local effort. We want to keep the airport, a lot of these little local airports are falling by the wayside," he said.
CONTACT Kirk Barron at 458-2121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.