16,000 attend Truckee air show, largest turnout ever (photo slideshow) | SierraSun.com

16,000 attend Truckee air show, largest turnout ever (photo slideshow)

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Visit truckeetahoeairshow.com to learn more about the Truckee Tahoe AirShow & Family Festival.

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Truckee’s air show never ceases to impress spectators of all ages, but this year pilots had the added challenge of performing their maneuvers during wind speeds that reached up to 30 mph.

Despite the wind, everything went smooth in front of the more-than 16,000 visitors who attended the Truckee Tahoe AirShow & Family Festival on Saturday at Truckee Tahoe Airport, which marked the largest turnout in the event’s five-year history.

As of midday Tuesday, $45,000 in proceeds from the show had been tallied to benefit local youth, according to spokesperson Margaret Skillicorn, and organizers were still counting.

“I can see this nearing $50,000 once I get more data in,” she said in an email.

The money raised will help fund things like air academy scholarships provided through the Experimental Aircraft Association, as well as sports and educational programs through the Truckee Optimist Club. A portion of the proceeds will also benefit Truckee’s KidZone Museum.

Ureña Castro of Truckee was at the air show Saturday with his 7-year-old son. He said they have made it out to the show every year.

Aircraft owners were also on hand to answer questions and show off their airplanes.

“This plane was in pieces when I got it,” said Doug Robbins of Minden, Nev., who was showing his fully restored 1962 Piper Pawnee 225.

He said his airplane used to be a crop duster, but now he just uses it for recreation.

Robbins didn’t fly his airplane for the audience, but the roster of those who did included both civilian and Commemorative Air Force pilots.

On the ground, the festival included several other attractions, including a bounce house, face painting and stilt walkers who could be seen strutting down the tarmac and posing for photos.

Truckee’s EAA Chapter 1073 offered free airplane rides for kids, which took place the following day. This year, the chapter’s nine pilots took 96 children on airplane rides, Skillicorn said.

The free festival was sponsored by the Truckee Tahoe Airport District, with volunteer assistance from EAA Chapter 1073, Truckee Optimist Club, and KidZone Museum, among others.