Motors blared in an otherwise calm Orange County sky. The sounds complemented aircraft that stalked over runways and others that basked in the sun capturing the sight and sound of aviation lovers.
The Fullerton Municipal Airport held its free monthly antique aircraft display, Sunday, where visitors, pilots and aviation enthusiasts marveled at a blend of retro and contemporary aircraft models.
About 24 aircrafts over 35 years old roamed the sky and landed on the elongated runway to park in a “festival seating” style throughout the transient lot. A plethora of yellow, white, blue, grey, red and even zebra prints pigmented the exhibited aircrafts that carry historical and meaningful stories behind them.
The 86 acres of land the planes are displayed on was once a pig farm established in 1927 and also a former sewer for the city according to the Fullerton Municipal Airport website. It currently accommodates 600 planes essential to departments within the community, including the Anaheim Police Department and the Fullerton Fire Department. The California Highway Patrol also has a base within the airport, said Chuck Davis, 65, the aircraft event coordinator of four years.
Three military training planes from World War II were present. One of them, a Piper Cub, that the U.S. Navy used to practice flying during the ‘30s and ‘40s, Davis said. Despite its simple exterior, a vibrant vintage pinup painting was exposed as the glass window opened. The military aircraft with room for two, goes up to 70 mph, Davis said.
Davis’ wife, another aviation pilot Jackie DaCosta, is the owner of a small training 1972 Cessna 150 aircraft model named Olly. Olly’s luminous white exterior is stroked with red and blue lines throughout its body and wheels. DaCosta learned to fly in 1986 at the Fullerton Municipal Airport, where she completed 4,000 flight hours, granting her a private pilot license. She later obtained an instrument flying license and upgraded to a commercial license, she said.
DaCosta’s evident passion for flying traces back to her youth, when she used dolls as airplanes, she said. DaCosta and Olly have enjoyed trips to Oregon together and served as part of the United States Civil Air Patrol, where she rescued one person.
“I’ve done a lot of search and rescue for Civil Air Patrol, and I did have one find and that was pretty spectacular,” she said.
The Fullerton Municipal Airport is the last general aviation airport in North Orange County, Davis said. Many aviators exhibit their aircrafts 12 times a year to waive the county’s property tax. The coordinator further added that the tax prices range from each plane. A bi-plane trainer from World War II can cost $5,000 in property taxes, while DaCosta’s smaller plane is $50, he said.
The airplane exposition is done wholeheartedly in order to preserve a passion for vintage planes and community intersect Davis said. It’s also the only time where the airport is open to the public to walk on the ramps, look in the aircrafts and talk to the pilots.
“Most of these people don’t fly but they show up anyways just to socialize, this is like ‘Cheers’ … it’s a congregating place for us,” Davis said.