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West Coast Cub Fly-In Grounded in Aviation History

The 33rd Annual West Coast Cub Fly-In will be held July 7-9 at Lompoc Airport, 1801 North H St. A popular Central Coast event, the fly-in has become known nationwide as one of the top fly-ins for historic aircraft.

The event is free to all spectators. Visitors will have the opportunity to walk among the aircraft, observe the flying events and interact with pilots. Photographers are welcome to shoot pictures of the historic aircraft.

T-shirts, souvenirs, and refreshments will be available for purchase. Free parking is limited on site with more parking nearby. Dogs must be on leashes, and parents must closely watch children due to the presence of taxing aircraft.

Planned activities:

Friday, July 7

Noon: Registration opens for arriving pilots.

6 p.m.: Homemade spaghetti dinner. Dinner tickets available at the door.

Saturday, July 8

10 a.m.: Registration opens.  starting at 11 a.m.

11 a.m.: Hamburgers and hot dogs served

1:30 p.m.: Pilot proficiency contests. Bring lawn chair and watch pilots try to drop a 1-lb. flour bomb into a brightly marked barrel from an altitude of 200 feet. On landing, each pilot will try to land on a marked line on the runway.

Neither contest is as easy as it seems. Closest two bombs to the barrel is the winner, and a cash prize is offered to the first pilot who is able to drop a flour bomb in the barrel. After 32 years, the prize remains unclaimed.

4 p.m.: Mass scenic flight takes place, weather permitting. The take-off and form-up of the Cubs can be a good photo-op.
 
5:30 p.m.: Tri-tip BBQ, cooked by the flying BBQ’ers. Dinner tickets available at the door.

7 p.m.: Awards ceremony, followed by a raffle for donated gifts.
 
Sunday, July 9

7 a.m.: Breakfast served. Many aircraft depart in the morning for their home bases after the normal morning fog lifts. No other special events are planned.

History of the Piper Cub: The most popular Cub is the Piper J-3 Cub, a small, simple, light aircraft built between 1937 and 1947 by Piper Aircraft. This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Cub.

With tandem (fore and aft) seating, it was intended for flight training but became one of the most popular and best-known light aircraft of all time. Piper manufactured 19,073 J-3 Cubs.

The aircraft's standard chrome yellow paint has come to be known as Cub Yellow or Lock Haven Yellow.

Cubs served in wartime as artillery spotters and air ambulances but are best known as trainers for the thousands of student pilots who learned to fly from the late 1930s through the '50s.

One Cub serving with the U.S. Coast Guard actually sunk a German U-Boat during World War II. Today, they are cherished classic aircraft from aviation’s Golden Age.

West Coast Cub Fly-In background: This year marks the 33rd Anniversary of what started out as the brainchild of Monty Findley and Bruce Fall, two Lompoc Piper Cub owners.

They originally wanted a fly-in dedicated to their beloved Piper Cubs closer than the annual event that took place at the Cub factory in Lock Haven, Pa.

The West Coast Cub Fly-In has gained in prominence and has become one of the best attended Piper Cub fly-ins in the nation.  The Lock Haven fly-in took a break for a few years, making the West Coast Cub Fly-In the longest running Cub fly-in in the U.S.

On a sad note, Bruce Fall passed away on Feb. 28, so both Bruce and Monty are gone now, but all the loyal volunteers who work each year to see that each fly-in is better than the year before will carry on in their honor.

— Ed Mandibles for West Coast Cub Fly-In.

 
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