Monday, Oct 22 2012 04:10 PM

Flying for apples

Related Photos

Pilots Diane Myers, Gretchen Lindelof, Alyssa White,Shirley McFall, Penelope Hecker, Trudy Briscoe,Colleen Handrahan, Mary VanVelser, and Irene Bates kick up their heals as they get ready for a day of picking apples. Photo by Ed Gordon.

Orange County Ninety-Nine Pilots have lunch at the Apple Shed before heading to the orchard. Photo by Ed Gordon.

Ninety-Nine Pilot Gretchen Lindelof juggles some Golden Delicious as she fills her bag. Photo by Ed Gordon.

Members of the Orange County 99 women pilots group held a fly-in on Saturday, Sept. 29, to pick Tehachapi apples.

Eight members of the club flew in and six others drove in to pick apples at Kolesar's Apple Ranch.

Penelope Hecker was the first to arrive on her F8L Falco experimental plane. She was followed by Diane Myers, a retired Continental Airlines pilot, in her six passenger, twin engine Cessna 414 making an on time landing at 10:30 a.m. as scheduled. Diane had five other members of the group on board she had picked up on her way from Palomar Airport in Carlsbad.

The group met at the Apple Shed restaurant for lunch then headed to Kolesar's where they received a briefing on Golden and Red Delicious apples followed by a taste test. Then it was off to the trees to fill up their bags.

The fly-in was organized by Mary VanVelzer who lives in Orange County but had a cabin in Old West Ranch until it was destroyed in last year's fire.

Members of the group came from Mission Viejo, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, San Clementi, Garden Grove, Orange, Laguna Niguel, Huntington Beach, Laguna Woods and Long Beach. The group is part of International Ninety-Nine, Inc. that was founded by Amelia Earhart in 1927 to support women in learning to fly.

Since 1962, O.C. 99s have promoted aviation through educational, scientific and community service and encouraging women to fly through individual mentoring and scholarships.

Members range from future women pilots to private, commercial, corporate and airline transport pilots. Monthly activities include general meetings, feature events and fly-ins to other airports.

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