September 13, 2015 – FANTASTIC DAY!
Well this goes back quite a few years since we had flying activity at Crows Landing. Before Merwin Ranch, Chowchilla, Minden and Castle AFB. It has been 30 years when the IMAA Giant Scale Fly In was held at Crows Landing. Talk about the perfect venue for a fly in. We had available to us the Crows Nest which was a fully stocked bar with all the fixins. Pool tables and Juke Boxes. Walk in with your hat on and you had to pin a dollar on the wall or ceiling somewhere. Also had the big swimming pool open to us. Dwight Cathcart and his sons would put on a Tri Tip dinner that was to die for. Did not get much better. As the sun set we would line up some of the aircraft and take pictures with the sun set and hills and your aircraft silhouetted in black which was really cool looking. Some sweet shirts were made with those pics. Pretty cool stuff.
Like I said this was way back in the early 80’s. Ken Runestrand first started the event and then I eventually took over as CD. Motorhomes, everyone had a front row seat. Tons of room to fly. We also shared the field with the Navy as well as NASA. The base commander really liked us. The Modesto Quarter Scalers were able to use the place on a daily basis.
So moving ahead to 2015. I kept hearing rumors that folks were flying out there on weekends. I grabbed the bull by the horns and made some inquiries. Well it paid off. Spent a lot of time on the phone with the Stanislaus County, Patterson PD as well as Sheriff and Highway Patrol. Bureau of land management, Code Enforcement Agency and then finally got ahold of the person who controls the activities at Crows. They sent me the Lease agreement. Worked with AMA for the insurance issues. AMA came through big time working with the Stanislaus County Office in making sure the insurance was good. Keith Acostas helped me with the fees to obtain the day use. $1200 for day plus Dave Goesch helped out with the Port a Potties and Robert Broomfield my line boss for Castle did the line boss work at Crows. Robert also brought out the flight stations.
The fly actually started on Sunday at sunup but a bunch of us were working on field set up on Saturday. Weather was gorgeous. Dead calm all day long and the smoke from the up north fires filtered out the hot sun. Nice planning wouldn’t you say. We built it and all you guys came. THANKS SO MUCH TO ALL OF YOU GUYS THAT CAME TO SUPPORT. 48 pilots, mostly BIG JETS. So cool. Flying stopped at 6pm. Denny Baker and myself did the FOD walk and left the field cleaner than when we got there.
Working on next years events. Got that EVENTS!!!!!!! Trying to have an all scale and then a JET fly for next year. All scale will be in Sept around the second weekend and then sometime earlier in the year. If you want to be a part of this please send me an email and I will add you to my list. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just trying to work my way back into a multi 3 to 5 day event. As of now we can only do 2 separate day events and that will help establish more for the next year.
Special thanks to the folks at Stanislaus County for working with me to get things done and to make this event possible. Could not have done this without your support.
A big thanks to Keith Acostas, Robert Broomfield, Brian Smith, Denny Baker, George Ellison, Jamie Fiffles, Dave Goesch for the help in setting up the field. Always appreciate the help and support. Makes me want to go bigger and better the next time.
Well that’s all for now. Keep building and buying the big ones.
Till the next fly