Auburn to again experience ‘Thunder in the Sky’

Semi-annual air fair returning July 7
By: Richard Simms Journal Correspondent
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Despite an aviation disaster at an air race in Reno last September, Auburn’s air fair is scheduled to go off without a hitch. Bernie Schroeder, Auburn’s director of public works who also manages the airport, said that despite recent extended awareness of safety concerns due to the tragic events in Reno, no operational changes have been made to Auburn’s event. Reno air race onlookers were shocked in September when a WWII-era plane crashed in front of the stands, killing 11 and injuring 70. In regard to safety issues, chief organizer for Thunder in the Sky, Darcy Brewer, was quick to point out the differences between Auburn’s event and the incident in Reno. “Auburn’s event is an air fair as opposed to an air show or an air race. Every volunteer is keenly aware of safety issues and about 75 percent are pilots themselves,” Brewer said. Auburn Aviation Association President Wayne Mooneyham went into further detail surrounding safety procedures. “We have mostly static displays,” Mooneyham said. “There are no aerobatics. The FAA has come in the past but there are no extensive requirements for us.” This July Thunder in the Sky, Auburn’s semi-annual air fair, will be showcasing what the town and surrounding area has to show in the field of aviation. The event is held in Auburn bi-yearly switching off with Nevada County, and is put together by the Auburn Aviation Association. The fair will display planes depicting the last 90 years of aviation technology, the oldest of which dating back to the late 1920s. These will include two WWII fighters such as the P51 Mustang, the Hawker Sea Fury and a civilian model Stinson Reliant. Attendees will have the chance to see a variety of biplanes and war birds up close as well as speak with pilots. Planes from all over California will be displayed as well as from Nevada and southern Oregon. There will be a flyover of vintage planes over the airport runway as well as an acrobatics demonstration with radio controlled airplanes with wingspans of 6 and 7 feet. Aside from planes, the event will also have a display of classic cars, a variety of food for sale, and a number of family oriented activities. In the past the event has drawn a crowd of approximately 4,500. The Auburn Aviation Association, a nonprofit organization, is giving proceeds from the event to a scholarship to help new pilots obtain their aviation certification. ---------- Thunder in the Sky What: Auburn’s semi-annual air fair Where: Auburn Airport, the end of New Airport Road, Auburn When: 10 a.m. July 7 Cost: $10 for adults and yet-to-be-determined discount rate for children