Aviation enthusiasts can rev up for Airfest
Just about anything you want to know about aviation and the Nevada County Airport will be on hand as AirFest 2007 takes to the skies on Friday and Saturday, July 6 and 7.
The action begins on Friday, at 5:30 p.m., when the 22-piece Moonlight Swing Living History Big Band performs on the airport ramp, accompanied by an All-American dinner menu prepared by Jim E’s Catering. The Moonlight Swing Living History Big Band recreates the sights and sounds of the Glenn Miller Army Air Forces Band of World War Two using on-stage choreography, vintage microphones and 1940s’ attire. The sellout event was attended by close to 800 people in 2005 and is expected to attract 1,000 this year. Get your tickets now. Advance tickets for the dinner/dance for $45 (or $20, dance only) are available at SPD Markets, The Beam Easy-Living Center and the Nevada County Airport Administration Building.
Saturday’s AirFest gets underway at 8 a.m. with a pancake breakfast. All things aviation will include displays and fly-bys. Aircraft will include air tankers, air racers, antique and experimental aircraft and vintage warbirds. There also will be airplane rides and radio-controlled model airplane demonstrations. In addition, classic autos will be displayed. Food and retail vendors round out a full day of activities.
The Experimental Aircraft Association – an organization of those who build kit-planes at home in their garages and which has chapters all over the U.S. (#1175 is the one at our airport) – will display and fly nearly 20 different types of locally built kit planes while offering how-to seminars for first-time pilots and aircraft builders. Airplanes will range from the nimble RV models to the new Lancair Legacy and the powerful Turbo Legend.
The joint CAL FIRE/U.S. Forest Service Grass Valley Air Attack Base will provide an informative open house while displaying Grumman S2T air tankers and the latest in airborne fire suppression.
The Nevada County Airport is located at 13083 John Bauer Ave. in Grass Valley, off Loma Rica Drive. Admission to Saturday’s AirFest is $10 for adults; kids 12 and under get in free. Visit http://www.ncairfest.com or call Tim O’Brien at (530) 273-4920 for more information.
Tim O’Brien has been the chairman of the Nevada County AirFest since 1999. Though not a pilot, he was fascinated as a young boy in the 1960s by all the goings on at the airport as it was developing as a pioneering air tanker base. Says O’Brian, “I was fascinated by the historic World War II era bombers that were converted into fire fighting planes … The sights, sounds … and ‘hero worship’ of the pilots and crews who created that immense ‘aluminum overcast’ that was so awesome to me as an 8- year-old. As chairman of this event, I’m honored to create as close to the same excitement for today’s youth (as I can) while working with the most fantastic volunteers, generous sponsors and a wonderful community at large!”
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