With beautiful, clear blue skies, Sept. 1 was a great day for an Airfair.
In fact, it was great day for the 5th Annual Fox Field Airfair, held at the William J. Fox Airfield in Lancaster, Calif. Just as in previous years, the day started off with a fund-raising pancake breakfast followed by opportunities to view aircraft up-close.
Back for a repeat appearance was a Hunting Percival Jet Provost owned by Marine Corps veteran and chairman of the Airfair, Robert “Stambo” Stambovsky and his wife.
Don Sicher, owner of a Challenger II Experimental light sport aircraft, said “you don’t see too many [Challenger II aircraft] out here in the west coast.” The Challenger II is a clipped-wing aircraft that runs at 55-horse power. It has a top speed of 95 mph and can elevate to 12,000 feet. “It’s like riding a motorcycle in the air,” said Sicher. He added that he purchased the aircraft for his wife to learn to fly in.
Pilot Joe Fitzgerald flew his airplane in from Apple Valley “for the pancake breakfast.” His 30-year-old Pitts Special, “Pretty Kitty” was entirely hand-made by a retired Air Force Colonel that could no longer fly. Fitzgerald, who has been flying since he was 16, decided to by the aircraft from his friend. Pretty Kitty has no electrical system and is fully aerobatic. “It doesn’t care which direction it goes,” said Fitzgerald.
At the far end of the static displays stood an unusual-looking helicopter, a Kaman K-MAX. With its bright blue and green finish it did not go unnoticed. The Airfair also featured a number of classic automobiles as part of the displays.
Inside the terminal were representatives for the Marine Corps League, the VFW Post 3000 and aviation collectibles shop “Winging It.” Outside, Kelly Holloway and Alexis Powell, Aviation Explorers from post 787, were joined by other members of the group to sell water bottles, and hopefully find new recruits. According to Holloway and Powell, explorers study planes, take ground school and hear talks by industry professionals.
Eric Enggasser, Senior Flight Instructor for Barnes Aviation was on-hand to answer questions for visitors interested in aviation and looking for more information on learning to fly. In addition to his pamphlets, he invited guests to sit in an airplane to let them feel what the controls are like.