Lifestyle

Tuesday, Sep 24 2013 06:00 AM

Warbird fly-in is free for community

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World War II aircraft, such as this P-51D "Mustang" fighter will visit Tehachapi Mountain Airport Saturday, Sept. 28, for a Warbird Fly-in. Photo courtesy of Kim Nixon

Even before Orville and Willie made it off the ground in 1903, humans have pondered over flying. When metal birds began populating the sky, some of the fascination may have gone away; but for many, airplanes are still objects of wonder.

Air shows and fly-ins remain popular events for aviation lovers and inquirers. A quick Google search results in many links to lists of air shows across the world.

Tehachapi will host its own fly-in on Sept. 28 at the Tehachapi Municipal Airport. Like other similar events, the fly-in holds to a theme: World War II warbirds.

Kim Nixon, who owns an aviation business in town with her husband and also serves on the City Council, helped organize the event. She said individuals and organizations got together back in April to brainstorm how the airport could host more community events. She said the fly-in was the easiest to organize, especially since she and her husband have relationships with warbird owners and pilots through their business.

Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Parks District partnered with the airport supporters to sponsor a Tarmac 5K Fun Run and 1-Miler Kids Run that Saturday morning. Both runs will be on the airport runway at 8 a.m. Registration begins at 7 a.m.

"It's a cool opportunity to run where the planes land," said TVRPD recreation supervisor LeAnn Williams. "I'm stoked to have runners at the airport. Tarmac runs are starting to trend back East. It' s cool to bring a another trending-type event to our community."

Airport officials have assured the community that air traffic will be diverted during the run and certain other times throughout the day.

At 10 a.m., the airplanes will begin to arrive. Nixon said among the planes they are expecting are three P51 Mustangs, two T6s, a J2 Cub, two T28s, an Albatross and possibly a Spitfire and B25.

"The planes will be on display and people will be able to talk to the pilots," Nixon said. "There will also be some military vehicles on display."

The Knights of Columbus and the Lions Club will be selling food, while TVRPD will sponsor a beer garden in Aviator Park.

Between 1 and 2 p.m., pilots who choose to participate with their WWII planes will give a demonstration. Tom Glasgow, airport manager, said at the Aug. 19 City Council meeting that the FAA granted permission for low-flying fast passes.

"I think this will be really great for the community...to get to use their airport," Nixon said.

To sign up for the run, call TVRPD at 822-3228 or visit their office, 490 W. "D" St. Although there is a fee to participate in the run, the fly-in is free.

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