Wednesday, February 21 , 2018, 11:15 pm | Fair 40º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Piper Cubs Touch Down in Lompoc For Annual Fly-In

Dozens of World War II-era aircraft owners unite for 32nd yearly gathering

The Lompoc Airport is awash in a sea of yellow this weekend during the 32nd Annual West Coast Piper Cub Fly-In.
The Lompoc Airport is awash in a sea of yellow this weekend during the 32nd Annual West Coast Piper Cub Fly-In. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

The Lompoc Airport is awash in a sea of yellow planes this weekend for the 32nd year. 

The vintage aircraft — most covered with colorful yellow paint — began arriving Wednesday for the 32nd Annual West Coast Piper Cub Fly-In.

The gathering of World War II-era airplanes will continue through Sunday at the airport at 1801 North H St. 

Yuba City resident Brett Scheidel expected to bring the family’s three Piper Cubs, escaping the summer heat for cooler weather.

“It’s nice to get to the coast,” Scheidel said, as he polished one of his planes.

This is their second visit to the Lompoc event, and they were drawn back by the youth participation. 

Three generations of his family enjoy the vintage planes, he said.

“They’re kind of addicting,” Scheidel said. “I like the way they fly.”

Organizers expect more than 100 Piper Cubs to land in Lompoc for the event, which has continued despite the fact no one locally owns one of the vintage planes, according to Jeff Palmer. 

Piper Cub owners fly in for the gathering from their homes throughout the state, along with pilots from Washington, Arizona, Texas and Nevada.

One year, a pilot flew from Rochester, New York, to the Lompoc event, Palmer added.

“That’s a lot for a Piper Club that cruises around 70 to 80 mph,” Palmer said.

Aviation enthusiasts keep the Lompoc tradition alive although no Piper Cubs are currently kept at the Lompoc Airport.

“It isn’t so much the airplanes as it is the people,” Palmer said, adding that even if organizers didn’t plan the event, Piper Cubs pilots would show up anyway. 

Former Piper Cub owners Monty Findley and Bruce Fall launched the gathering for West Coast pilots after deciding against traveling across the country to attend an event.

Since then, the fly-in has occurred yearly at the small airport.

Starting at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, pilots will compete in proficiency contests including dropping “bombs” — bags of flour — to see who can hit closest to the target.

Admission is free, and food and beverages, as well as souvenirs, will be available for purchase.

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.

Brett Scheidel of Yuba City polishes his PIper Cub plane after landing at the Lompoc Airport for the 32nd West Coast PIper Cub-Fly-In this weekend. Click to view larger
Brett Scheidel of Yuba City polishes his PIper Cub plane after landing at the Lompoc Airport for the 32nd West Coast PIper Cub-Fly-In this weekend. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)
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