Blustery Yuba County Welcomes Golden West Fly-In
June 17, 2010 — Hundreds of aviation enthusiasts turned out last weekend to the Golden West Regional Fly-In at Yuba County Airport, Marysville, California. Despite winds of up to 40 mph, a number of different aircraft were able to make the trip to Northern California and take part in events covering the range of the aviation spectrum. “Mother nature proved that she was in charge,” said John Gibson Golden West president. “Still, the show went off generally as planned.”
A major highlight of the weekend included John Parker in his Blue Thunder II Thunder Mustang who shattered the world 100km speed record for Class C1c piston-powered landplanes between 2200 and 3850 pounds. On Saturday he eclipsed the previous mark of 330 mph speeding 361 mph. Parker beat his own record on Sunday with a 363.9 mph run. The record flights were officially observed by Brian Utley, a representative of the National Aeronautics Association, the U.S. arm of the international organization of record, the FAI (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale).
Saturday also saw a mock Reno air race by some of the sport class racers, giving the audience a small taste of the National Champion Air Races held every year in Reno, Nevada.
In the aircraft judging competition, Eric Schuldt of Lafayette, California, took home the Grand Champion Award in the Homebuilt Aircraft - Plans Built category. Other grand champion awards went to:
- Homebuilt Aircraft - Kit Built: Bill Call, Martinez, California, Lancair ES
- Vintage Aircraft – Antique: Tony Wright, Auburn, California, Stinson V77
- Vintage Aircraft – Classic: Jared Smith, Huntington Beach, California, Swift GC-1B
- Vintage Aircraft – Contemporary: Larry Betts & Leland Sparks, San Francisco, Bellanca Viking 300
At the awards ceremony, EAA Field Relations Manager Ron Wagner stressed the importance of grassroots efforts by groups like those at the fly-in, crediting them with making events like the recent International Learn to Fly Day successful. Wagner also noted that innovations, like those seen at Golden West, are helping to open up the possibilities towards the development of electric aircraft.
Finally, the Beale Blackbird Radio Control Club helped bring the fly-in to a close with a display of the prowess of their radio-controlled model airplanes.
John Gibson said, “With the economy appearing to be recovering, Golden West has plans to expand the event next year. Mark your calendar to join us in Marysville on June 10, 11 & 12, 2011!”