The first day of spring turned out to be a great day to hang out with people who love airplanes.
The Hold My Beer Flying Club hosted its first Spring Fly-In at the Colusa County Airport.
“We had about 50 planes, plus or minus a few,” said Heath Krug, one of the organizers.
The Hold My Beer Flying Club is a relatively new “just for fun” club that started with a few people who wanted to pursue their aviation dreams.
The club was formed in November and now has about 24 members, many of whom are new pilots, including Club President Toby Reading.
“It is an equity club, so there is a buy-in,” said Krug. “The club has two planes, and we get together just to have fun.”
The Hold My Beer Flying Club hosted a small fly-in last November, but the successful spring day event on Saturday had pilots coming from as far as Portland, Ore., who said the weather couldn’t have been better.
Mac McElroy, of Auburn, flew into the Colusa County Airport in an RV-7A kit plane made by Van’s Aircraft.
The Experimental plane has two seats, a 180 horsepower Lycoming fuel-injection engine, a 25-ft wingspan, a full instrument panel, and can cruise to about 165 knots (200 mph).
“You can fly in the clouds and all that stuff…and it’s fast,” said McElroy, a retired banker who has been flying since the mid-1990s.
Saturday’s event was McElroy’s first fly-in at the Colusa County Airport.
He purchased the experimental plane in Michigan and fell in love with it immediately.
“I flew from East Lansing, down around Chicago, and all the way back to Auburn in a day and a half,” he said. “I wish I started in these homebuilt planes; they are so much fun to work on and fly.”
Visitors to Saturday’s fly-in saw a mix of certified and homebuilt recreational planes, as well as gyrocopters and military aircraft.
They also enjoyed a hamburger lunch prepared by members of the Hold My Beer Flying Club.
The purpose of the event is to get people interested in airplanes so the Colusa County airport can remain viable well into the future for aviation enthusiasts.
“That is what it’s all about,” Krug said.
The oldest airplane at Saturday’s fly-in was a 1939 Piper Cub. Piper built the all-purpose planes from 1938 to 1947. The aircraft was designed primarily as a trainer but was used for various purposes during World War II, including reconnaissance.
The Hold My Beer Flying Club plan to join forces with the local Aviation Association to host the 2021 Colusa County Old Tyme Fly-In in July.
The event, which includes a pancake breakfast and raffle, has been held annually for 23 years to raise money to help with improvements to the airport. The 2020 Fly-In was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic but will resume this summer.