Columbia, CA – Of all the airplanes that were featured at the Father´s Day Fly-In this weekend, the P-51 Mustang fighter planes may have been the most popular.
Dan Martin of Hollister, CA owned one of the three featured P-51´s, the Ridgerunner. Martin purchased the aircraft in El Salvador in 1974 for $20,000. He then invested another $70,000 in the aircraft.
At the conclusion of the war the Ridgerunner joined the Swedish Air Force and was then sent to Nicaraqua. The plane returned to the U.S. before being shipped to El Salvador.
The P-51 Mustang was a staple of the of the 9th Air Force in World War II. The Ridgerunner had several confirmed kills during combat missions.
Fuel alone costs Martin a little more than $700 per hour of flight time. Overall cost of flying for an hour is between $1,500 and $2,000. Martin has raced his plane and makes it a practice to always attend the Father´s Day Fly-In.
Written by Bill Johnson