Around 50 airplane and helicopter pilots flew into the Colusa County airport on Saturday for the 21st Annual Old Tyme Fly-In, hosted by the Colusa County Aviation Association.
Organizers said attendance was down significantly this year, which they attributed to competition from other fly-ins.
“I’m sad we didn’t have the number of planes we typically do,” said association member Randy Johnson, adding that this was the latest he could ever remember having the event. The fly-in typically has taken place a week earlier, but a conflict with another fly-in in Nevada County caused organizers to push the event back. While they avoided having to compete with the fly-in in Grass Valley on July 15, they ended up competing with two others last weekend.
Fellow association member Sherman MacPherson said that a number of folks showed up the weekend before, and were unable to make it back to Colusa the following weekend.
What the event lacked in aircraft numbers it made up for in quality. Event-goers were particularly taken with a 1940 Wacko Biplane, owned by Bud and Mary Ellis of Santa Rosa, who traveled 85 miles to attend the event. The Ellis’ aircraft was not only the oldest that took place in the fly-in, but also the best looking. The plane earned awards for each.
“That was probably the coolest plane out there,” said Rob Moriconi, a representative on the Colusa County Airport Land Use Commission.
It also drew visiting pilots from as far as 160 miles away. Tim Avery, who traveled from the Montague Airport in his 1956 Cessna 182, earned the award for farthest distance traveled.
Another popular feature was the pair of aircraft that California Highway Patrol brought along.
“We had CHP bring their spotter plane and a helicopter, and they were a big hit,” said Colusa County Agricultural Commissioner Greg Hinton. “They stayed for pancakes and to answer questions, threw kids into their helicopter, and I’m glad they were there.”
Among the kids who got to clamber into the CHP helicopter were brothers Julius Frampton, 8, and Ethan Frampton, 4, who came to the fly-in with their mother, Daniell Frampton, and grandmother, Ann Nordyke.
“Both of my grandkids were so excited to be there, and were especially excited to see the CHP helicopter,” Nordyke said. “We were a little but unlucky, because right as we were walking up to it, they got a call, but the gentlemen there were nice enough to allow my grandkids to jump in before they left.”
Nordyke said that she was impressed by the number of “really good looking airplanes,” and added that the pancake, sausage, and egg breakfast was pretty good, too.
Johnson said that the raffle prizes this year were more numerous and better than ever, and Moriconi said that it pointed to the community’s increasing support for the fly-in.
“I really want to thank all the local businesses and anyone in town who donated for our raffle,” said Johnson. “It was impressive.”
For more information about the Colusa County Aviation Association or the Old Tyme Fly in, contact the Colusa County Airport at (530) 458-0580.