Sonoma County&039s Wings Over Wine Country grounded for 2017

Sonoma County’s roaring, neck-craning Wings Over Wine Nation air present has been grounded for 2017.

Leaders of the internet hosting Pacific Coast Air Museum, situated on the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport, count on to relocate their classic airplanes and different reveals to an adjoining location contained in the airport fence subsequent yr. They mentioned it gained’t be potential for his or her members to make that transfer and in addition pull off an air present.

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“We don’t have the assets to do it,” mentioned Jim Sartain, president of the volunteer-run museum.

Sartain and PCAM president-elect JJ Stephens mentioned that as a substitute of an air present in 2017, the group plans a big open home with static shows and different points of interest targeted on piquing the curiosity of kids and youth in aviation. There can also be a traditional automotive present.

“It’s going to be as energetic as we are able to make it,” mentioned Sartain, a Santa Rosa actual property agent.

Each he and Stephens, a retired U.S. Air Drive lieutenant colonel who labored 27 years as late developer Hugh Codding’s pilot, mentioned the museum intends to convey again the two-day air present in 2018.

PCAM’s assortment of historic warbirds and civilian plane has been situated for greater than a quarter-century on the southeast fringe of the airport, at North Laughlin Street and Becker Boulevard.

The first options of the leased piece of county-owned property are the outdated, metal-sheathed constructing that serves because the museum guests’ heart and the unpaved lot on which many of the plane are parked. There’s additionally a round, concrete pad that helps the F-15A Eagle fighter jet that was the primary to scramble to New York Metropolis after the 2001 terrorist assaults on the World Commerce Heart.

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For years, museum members have sought to maneuver off the filth lot and onto the paved parcel that’s simply north of the present PCAM website. The dominant characteristic of the museum’s potential new house is the massive, arched, open-ended Butler hangar.

One in every of solely two main constructions that stay from the airport’s days as a World Struggle II Military coaching area, the Butler hangar made the flicks in 1963, after stunt pilot Frank Tallman flew a small Beech 18-D airplane via it in “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.”

The air museum is in negotiations with the county to buy or lease the Butler hangar and in addition two close by buildings that have been the places of work and hangar of the previous Dragonfly flight faculty. Whether or not PCAM have been to purchase or lease the buildings, the land would stay within the possession of the county.

“It’s not a performed deal but,” mentioned Sartain. If an settlement is reached to permit PCAM to maneuver, the museum will change into accountable for repairing and shoring up the historic however badly decayed Butler hangar. It will change into an exhibition and occasions house.

“We’ve bought lots of grand plans,” Sartain mentioned. PCAM members would launch a capital marketing campaign to attraction for the general public’s assist in upgrading the hangar and changing the previous flight-school property to museum house.

Sartain mentioned PCAM and the county are near agreeing on a contract.

Concurring, Jon Stout, the airport supervisor, mentioned, “We’re all the way down to the final two objects wanted for the lease settlement.” He mentioned he couldn’t legally describe these objects.

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Stout mentioned the county has been supportive of the museum’s need to maneuver off of the filth, onto pavement and beneath the Butler hangar. He mentioned “2017 is unquestionably our objective” for a proposed contract to go to the Board of Supervisors for approval and for the transfer to happen.

Chris Smith is at 707-521-5211 and [email protected]

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