A fun time, plane and simple | TahoeDailyTribune.com

A fun time, plane and simple

by Michael Green

Air Fest 2001 is no fly-by-night affair.

For one, the sun is sure to be shining Saturday. One hundred percent guaranteed.

Well, maybe not 100 percent, but the odds are pretty good. Janis Brand, spokeswoman for the Lake Tahoe Airport, said the air show hasn’t rained out in its nine-year history.

“Last year we had rotten weather on Friday, we had rotten weather on Sunday and it was sunny and warm on Saturday,” she said.

Come clouds or blue skies, dozens of military and civilian aircraft will be on display during the air show’s 10th anniversary. Although aerobatic displays were dropped last year due to cost, the show remains fun and affordable, Brand said

“Because it’s free, more people can come and enjoy it,” she said. “Because it’s a fund-raiser for these local organizations, it’s easier to do it this way.”

Some of the proceeds benefit the “Black Hawk Squadron” of the Civil Air Patrol. Bob Boone, a squadron spokesman, is also chair of this year’s Air Fest.

“This is one of two of our major fund-raisers for the squadron,” Boone said. “About 80 percent of the money goes to the cadet program,” which serves about three dozen youths age 12 to 21.

It’s also an opportunity to show off the airport, which has a new manager, a new restaurant in the wings and other changes in store.

“We are in a new mode of promoting and developing the airport,” said Boone, an airport commissioner. “In the near future, we should be able to be back where it was 10, 15 years ago,” when it was a more thriving concern.

But Saturday’s focus is on the planes, whether on the ground or in the air. The Kiwanis Club of Lake Tahoe, which sponsors the air show, kicks things off at 8 a.m. with an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast for $5.

The first fly-by is scheduled for 10 a.m., with closing ceremonies at 3 p.m. In between is a non-stop parade of aerial demonstrations and ground-based events including a Corvette car show.

A U-2 spy plane is tentatively scheduled to swing by from Beale Air Force Base. The “Top Gun” Naval Air Station in Fallon, Nev., is sending an F/A-18 Hornet and SH-60B Seahawk helicopter, while several other military bases will bring jets, helicopters and transport planes.

Vintage civilian aircraft will be on static display, and several vendors will offer airplane rides.

What: Air Fest 2001

When: Aug. 25, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Where: Lake Tahoe Airport

Cost: Free admission; $2 parking.

Details: 541-0480

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