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3,500 Attend Father’s Day Fly-In

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Columbia, CA — The 55th edition of the Father’s Day Fly-In was a success and brought thousands of visitors to the Columbia Airport on Saturday.

Tuolumne County Airports Manager Tonya Scheftner reports that around 3,500 people attended, and at least 100 planes were on hand, including many of the show planes that flew in from out of the area.

Organizers note that families walked the airport grounds to admire classic cars and vintage aircraft such as the impressive WWII Stearman Biplanes and Ryan PT-22 trainers. The skies were filled with fly-bys from expert formation pilots in T-36s and T-34s, with a memorable missing man formation salute to fallen soldiers of WWII.

The Father’s Day Fly-in also had at over 70 classic cars on display and 25 vendors.

Dream Flights flew four veterans, two were additionally honored, and five WWII Veterans signed the Stearman’s rudder. In all, they had seven WWII veterans present. Due to the weather, they had to reschedule some of the flights for this fall (a specific date to be determined) and have planned to fly at least sixteen more veterans.

Event Coordinator and Administrative Assistant Traci Williams-O’Neil noted that the veterans were given heartfelt thanks and many hugs. One veteran stated after the flight, “I’ll be talking about this ride for the rest of my life, and I can’t thank you enough.”

There was a significant turnout of volunteer support from both Pine Mountain Lake Airport (PML) and Columbia airports: at least 25 volunteers from PML, including six pilots who participated, and forty-two volunteers from Columbia Airport. In addition, the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office Community Service Unit volunteers were instrumental in making it a success.

  • Pilot Clint Cawley with veteran Bud Sherpa
  • Father's Day Fly-In
  • Denny Thompson – 102-year-old – WWII Vet & Purple Heart
  • Father's Day Fly-In
  • Father's Day Fly-In
  • Father's Day Fly-In
  • Father's Day Fly-In
  • Father's Day Fly-In
  • Father's Day Fly-In
  • Father's Day Fly-In
  • Father's Day Fly-In
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