Columbia Airport June 18 and 19, 2011

Excitement on the ground and in the air filled Columbia Airport for the “45th Annual Father’s Day Fly-in. Marin 99’s joined Petaluma PAPAs to make a strong presence for the North Bay Area. Seven planes and eleven people made the approximate one-hour flight on heading 081. We skimmed across the valley late Friday afternoon, avoiding the pending airshow traffic and temporary tower.

We touched down on the usual RWY 17 and made a hard right turn onto the cool 29/11 grass strip. There we had the pleasure of running our 182 tires on surface other than asphalt. We rendezvoused with fellow flyers and picked out a beautiful camping area under the shady oak trees and not too far away from the showers! This was camping at its finest. The airport put on a “burger burn” BBQ Friday night and Boy Scout Troop 570 were there providing us with great pancake breakfasts for the weekend. Some opted for food at “Pete’s” just across the highway, while others meandered the one mile jaunt into town for refreshments.

Saturday morning we staked out our front-row lawn chair seating and enjoyed the show. At 8:00 AM with the temporary tower in action we were entertained by “Snowball” the resident Stearman giving daredevil rides, warbird, vintage and experimental flybys, racecar vs. airplane race, and demos from Cal Fire. The “people mover” ferried us across the runway to enjoy the static display. The polished Electra from southern Cal was only one of the many stand-outs of the show.

Joe and I had to depart early Sunday before the planned flour bombing and spot landing activities. PAPA is putting on a flour bombing contest at the Petaluma Airport this September (in conjunction with a Poker Run.) It may have been advantageous to watch the flour drop attempts in Columbia. We practiced June 25th with three bombs at our home airport. Our closest attempt was about 40 feet. It is harder than it looks to hit that target!

Looking forward to the 46th Annual Columbia Fly-in.
Happy summer flying,

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