A moment of excitement at the third annual Phillips Field fly-in

The fiberglass wheel pant on the left landing gear has broken loose as can be seen on the plane flown by Bill Fowler, Jamestown, on a slow flyover for a visible damage assessment. The plane had a short time earlier struck the ground too hard during a landing attempt as  a wind gust caused a sudden drop in altitude. Pilot is fine and landing gear repairable.

The fiberglass wheel pant on the left landing gear has broken loose as can be seen on the plane flown by Bill Fowler, Jamestown, on a slow flyover for a visible damage assessment. The plane had a short time earlier struck the ground too hard during a landing attempt as a wind gust caused a sudden drop in altitude. Pilot is fine and landing gear repairable. Photo by David Wilson.

Because of the vortex of wind on Saturday, June 9, there was a little more excitement than usual, especially for Bill Fowler, Jamestown, at the third annual fly-in of the CalMo Flying Club Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 429. The fly-in was at Phillips Field on Airport Road off Industrial Park Road east of California.

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C.J. and Marian Stricker fly their Aircoupe with American flag waving over Phillips Field before landing to attend the the CalMO Flying Club Fly-in on Saturday, June 9.

The event was an open house at the field and the 2,600 foot grass airstrip which lies in a flat valley between two ridges usually has very little crosswind. This year, the wind was a little high, said to be about 15 mph by one pilot who had flown earlier. Because of cross winds on the north end of the field, pilots had to take extra care in landing, with the recommendation that they "land long."

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From left, bass player Art Langston, fiddler Rick Stoker, lead guitarist Sonny Robinette and percussionist Kenny Stegeman (Sonny and Partly Cloudy) provide entertainment and background music at the CalMO Flying Club Fly-in at Phillips Field on Saturday, June 9.

Fowler, flying a 2010 Jabiru with a six-cylinder 120 hp engine, circled the field to check conditions. But coming in for his first attempt to land, he found a problem.

For more of this story check out the June 13 issue of the California Democrat.

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