The event held previously at a different aviation-related gathering in Santa Maria returned this year in connection with the Central Coast AirFest.
A fundraiser for the Law Enforcement Torch Run benefiting Special Olympics, the Plane Pull pits teams against each other in tugging an aircraft — a MiG-21 owned by Santa Maria airport board member David Baskett — across the asphalt.
In addition to helping raise funds for Special Olympics, the Plane Pull provided a chance for one team to leave with bragging rights amid friendly rivalries.
Band of Brothers boasted the fastest pull, but the Wolf Pack from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department landed in second place, followed by a team from Naughty Oak Brewing Company.
Steve Baird from the Band of Brothers veterans group chalked up his team’s time to the “old-school” motivation acquired from their military service.
“They taught us you hold it all in until the very end and you just explode and go. That’s what we did,” Baird said.
“And a lot of moon pies,” a teammate added.
With black T-shirts, the Wolfpack team represented the Sheriff’s Department, with members coming from several divisions in the agency.
“Just heart and pull,” Sgt. Mark Valencia said of his colleagues’ efforts. “There’s no secret. Heart, pull and size.”
Along with earning second place overall and first among law enforcement agencies, the Sheriff’s Department team topped fundraising efforts with more than $1,500.
“It’s a great event,” he said, adding that they hope to get more participants next year, challenging his colleagues to join the effort to raise more money for Special Olympics.
The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office joined forced with the California Highway Patrol Santa Barbara area office to field a team, while the county Probation Department also participated.
Other teams came from Naughty Oak Brewing Company and VTC Enterprises.
The Plane Pull occurred near the start of the second Central Coast AirFest, which continues Sunday at the Santa Maria Airport.
Gates will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with most of the performances in the afternoon, including the headliner, the Air Force’s F-16 Viper Demonstration Team, plus several civilian acts.
AirFest general admission tickets, for ages 16-64, are $35, while senior citizens 65 and older, active-duty military members, and military retirees will be be admitted for $10.
Tickets for youths ages 5 to 15 cost $10, while younger children will be admitted for free.
A group rate, two general admission and two children or one general admission and three children, is available for $45.
Reserved seating costs $45 while VIP tent admission is $150.
Parking at the airport will cost $10.
Air show attendees can enter through one gate just south of the Santa Maria Radisson and another gate between the Santa Maria Fire Station and English Air Service.
For more information about the event, including a performance schedule, go to the website by clicking here.