Colusa airways were busy on Saturday as dozens of planes flew in, creating quite a spectacle for the hundreds of onlookers that gathered at the Colusa County Airport for the 23rd annual Colusa County Old Tyme Fly-In.

Event Coordinator Randy Johnson said the event is hosted each year by the Colusa County Aviation Association to encourage families to get out and explore aviation. 

“It’s great to see the little kids out here enjoying themselves,” Johnson said. “Stuff like this is what makes future pilots.” 

While at the event, attendees had the opportunity to watch a variety of unique planes come and go, talk to the pilots that operate these aircrafts and get up close and explore them.

“This event gives kids a chance to talk to these pilots,” Johnson said. “It creates kind of a camaraderie between the older and younger generations as they share their love of aviation.” 

Johnson said that about 130 planes participated in this years event, flying in from all over the state including San Jose and Oakland. 

Tom Dyer traveled 150 miles from Sparks, Nev., for the event, and was awarded the farthest distance traveled award. 

After landing, these unique aircrafts parked on the tarmac for attendees to admire up close. Among them was a bright blue 1927 Curtis Wright Travel Air 4,000 Airplane, owned by Rex Mayes, which took home the award for oldest aircraft at the event.  

If plane watching worked up an appetite, attendees could also partake in a sausage, egg and pancake breakfast complete with orange juice, coffee and even a piece of cake. 

Breakfast was served in one of the hangers at the airport, with the sounds of the pilots radio buzzing in the background.

Johnson said the association works hard to keep the price of breakfast low each year to provide an fun, inexpensive outing for families. 

According to Johnson, over 300 people enjoyed breakfast and countless others came out to admire the aircrafts. 

Johnson said the fly-in takes months of planning and preparation, along with the help of more than 25 volunteers and lots of community support. 

“If we didn’t have all the volunteers and community support we could not make this all happen,” Johnson said. 

Four scouts from Boy Scouts of Colusa Troop 5 came out to lend a hand during the event, helping with everything from set up to serving breakfast and cleaning. 

Scout Henry Gewett, 11, said he has been helping at the fly-in event for the last three or four years.

“I like looking at all the airplanes and helping cook the eggs and pancakes,” Gewett said. 

A raffle also took place during the breakfast, with dozens of local commodities given away including nuts, rice, olive oil, beans and gift certificates from area businesses. Other prizes included a Weber barbecue, gift baskets, tool sets, hats and tumblers. 

Johnson said 90 percent of the raffle prizes were donated by generous community members and businesses.

These local donors included ADM, Allen Myers, Alsco Geyer, Auto Zone, Beeler Tractor, California Family Foods, Rocco’s on the River, Caffinated, Clint Jewett, Colusa County Farm Supply, Colusa Meat Market, the County of Colusa, Davison Drugs, Denise Carter, Donna Critchfield, Griff’s Feed and Seed, Habeneros, Hoblit Motors, In-Harvest, Randy and Melody Johnson, Colusa Milling Co., Kittle’s, Les Schwab, Mary Winters, Meridian Diesel, Meridian Supply, Messick’s Ace Hardware, N & S Tractor, Ramos Oil, Reading Oil, Richter Aviation, Riverbank Pizza, Sacramento River Aviation, Simplot, Superior Tire Service, TNT Swap Meet, Tri Counties Bank, Valley Air, Willbur Ellis,  and Sweco.

“Its completely amazing how much these local businesses help out with events like this,” said Johnson. “We could not do this without their support.” 

Johnson said the association would also like to host an event in the future that gives kids the opportunity to fly in these planes. According to Johnson, a Young Eagles program is in the works for spring of next year. 

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