Airport hosts first fly-in

Clovis Municipal Airport played host Saturday to its first fly-in.

CNJ staff photo: Kevin Wilson

Declan Taylor, sitting on the shoulders of father Chris Taylor, takes a playful slap at the propeller of a plane Saturday afternoon at the Clovis Municipal Airport's fly-in event. The Taylors live in Farwell and are stationed at Cannon Air Force Base.

  • The event, organizer Baron Marshall said, helps introduce the general public to aspects of aviation they may not know about, show aircraft people might otherwise never see and give area pilots a chance to fly and be competitive.

Pilots are a tight-knit unit, said Stephanie Marshall, Baron's wife and also an event organizer, and small airports will have events like a fly-in breakfast.

CNJ staff photo: Kevin Wilson

Pablo Vasquez of Clovis, right, uses his camera phone to photograph one of three AH-1W SuperCobra choppers from the Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 467 take off during the fly-in Saturday afternoon at the Clovis Municipal Airport.

  • The fly-in ran from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with no complete count given. Carlos Arias, manager of Blue Sky Aviation and one of the event organizers, said one head count stopped at 11 a.m. with 220 people, but the number was much higher with come-and-go traffic and nearly 450 servings of food.
  • The fly-in was previously scheduled for earlier in the year, but high winds forced a postponement. Arias said as long as the wind stayed less than 20 knots (20-25 mph), the show would go on.

"It's uncomfortable for the audience (if the wind is greater)," Arias said. "We can fly in it, no problem."

CNJ staff photo: Kevin Wilson

Pablo Vasquez of Clovis, right, watches one of three AH-1W SuperCobra choppers from the Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 467 take off during the fly-in Saturday afternoon at the Clovis Municipal Airport. The squadron, nicknamed the "Sabers," are based out of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C.

  • Two contests were held among the pilots — flour bombing and spot landing.

Flour bombing is comprised of dropping a bag of flour during a flyover of the target. Trevor Bridges of Clovis won, as his bomb was seven-eighths of an inch closer than the next-best competitor's.

Spot landing incorporates landing as close to a pre-arranged spot on the runway as possible. The competition was claimed by Joel Garcia.

  • Arias said the show was somewhat of a trial run to gauge public interest. A follow-up fly-in is planned for the fall, with a car show as a possible add-on.

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