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Monday, December 17 , 2018, 5:38 am | Light Rain 54º


Piper Cubs Land in Lompoc for West Coast Fly-In

Owners and spectators gather to celebrate their love for the yellow vintage aircraft

About 50 Piper Cubs and their owners have converged upon the Lompoc Airport for this weekend’s 31st annual West Coast Fly-In celebrating the vintage aircraft.
About 50 Piper Cubs and their owners have converged upon the Lompoc Airport for this weekend’s 31st annual West Coast Fly-In celebrating the vintage aircraft. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

A fleet of bright yellow Piper Cub planes again descended upon the Lompoc Airport for this weekend’s 31st annual West Coast Cub Fly-In celebrating the vintage aircraft.

Approximately 50 Piper Cubs are expected to attend this year’s event in addition to an assortment of other aircraft. 

“They’re sort of like chickens — they won’t stand still to get an accurate count,” said John Schmidt, who owns several planes and is one of the many volunteers involved in making the event take off.

Planes began arriving as early as Tuesday, with the biggest influx landing Friday and blanketing the airport ramp in a sea of yellow. 

“We never know how many we are going to have,” said Mike Madrid, a local pilot who helps organize the event. 

The event’s big day is Saturday with flying planned in addition to friendly competitions for pilots.

“So it will be hot and heavy all day long,” Madrid said. 

The flour bombing competition is scheduled for Saturday afternoon. A popular event for spectators, the flour bombing will involve pilots, from an altitude of 200 feet, trying to drop a one-pound bag of flour into a 55-gallon barrel on the ground.

Food and beverages will be available for sale.

A tri-tip dinner is planned between 5:30 and 7 p.m. Saturday at the airport. 

Pancake breakfasts are scheduled from 7 to 10 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday

The West Coast Cub Fly-In was started by Monty Findley and Bruce Fall, two Lompoc Piper Cub owners. 

Piper J-3 Cubs accounted for one-third of the total airplanes sold in the United States in 1936 and 1937, according to Jane’s Encyclopedia of Aviation. In all, more than 19,000 Piper Cubs were built as two-seat light monoplanes from 1937 to 1947.

The planes were likened to Ford cars due to their accessibility.

The annual gathering remains one of the most well-attended Piper Cub events, organizers said.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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