In spite of a poor forecast, gusty winds and scattered clouds, around thirty-five airplanes and more than fifty people attended the RAF Kern Valley Airport Fly-In May 5-7, organized in large part by RAF member Anthony Longobardo. Being the first of an annual event, RAF California Liaison and Airport Manager Rick Lach said, “We expect 50 or more airplanes and hopefully near 85 people to show up next year. It’s great business for the local area.”

Organizers led groups into the ten backcountry airstrips within an hour’s flight of Kern Valley, and “People really had high praise for event leader Dustin Mosher,” Lach said. 

Many folks took advantage of the shuttle into town Friday night and enjoyed the multiple restaurants within easy walking distance of each other. Saturday night’s tri-tip barbecue by Sierra Vista Restaurant at the airport got many compliments.

A raffle of aviation prizes and giveaways from local businesses went to both attendees and non-attendees. If you’d registered but couldn’t fly in, check the website here to see if you won!

The brand new airport campground rustic bathhouse was up and running with hot water. The improvement was another project funded by an RAF grant. “It’s a fun place to shower, looking out on the mountains from its eye-level open air,” Lach said.

“With all the interest from the event, we started a Facebook group called “SoCal Backcountry Flyers,” he added. Watch it for upcoming SoCal recreational fly-outs and camp outs. If you’re not on the Facebook group page, join up here.

Fly-in photos are posted on the airport events website here

Lach welcomes participants’ feedback in order to make next year’s Fly-In even better. Email or call 919-457-2855.

Submitted On May 19, 2017.

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