Warbirds take flight over Carson City | NevadaAppeal.com

Warbirds take flight over Carson City

by Matt Farley
Special to the Nevada Appeal

If you think you’ve seen Russian warplanes buzzing Carson City recently, it isn’t just your imagination.

Warbirds Over Carson is the theme of this year’s Carson City Airport open house and local pilots are taking the concept seriously.

The event, set to run 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, will feature T-6 Texan fighter trainer aircraft, B-25 bombers, experimental and homebuilt aircraft, P-51 Mustang fighters and, of course, the Aero L-39 Albatross, a trainer still used by former Soviet allies.

“We’re looking for a chance to give the community a chance to see what goes on out here,” event chairman Dirk Zahtilla said. “If you come out to the airport on a normal day, it can be pretty closed up and quiet. The idea is to get the planes out of the hangars and let people see all of the cool stuff we have here.”

The open house, which has taken place annually for nearly two decades, kicks off with a pancake breakfast sponsored by Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 403. Other events include an opening ceremony featuring skydivers, hot air balloon rides, showings of antique aircraft, food vendors and raffles for prizes including T-6 rides.

“That’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing to do,” Zahtilla said of the T-6 rides. “People can buy T-6 rides, too, but they are not cheap.”

There also will be a paper airplane contest with separate divisions for kids and adults. Prizes, including rides in various craft, will be awarded, Zahtilla said.

“The idea is to just fold ’em up and see how far you can get it to fly,” he said. “It’s aimed at kids, but if parents want to get in there, that’s OK too.”

Organizers expect this year’s open house to be among the best-attended yet, Zahtilla said.

“We’re definitely hoping for a good year,” he said. “It doesn’t cost anything and there’s plenty to do, (and) some really special planes to see for Carson City. Actually, they’d be pretty cool to see anyplace.”