San Diego Ultralights Invited to Ramona Air Fair

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 Members of the San Diego Ultralight Association (USUA Club 24) were invited to take part in California's Ramona Air Fair on June 2, 2002. Ultralights performed an informal demonstration, weaving around a group of hot-air balloons that were just lifting into the early morning air. (Right) This balloon and ultralight added to the bright, cheery aerial display.

On June 2, 2002, eight ultralights from the San Diego Ultralight Association (USUA Club 24) ­ including two Hurricanes, two Quicksilvers, a Challenger, an Avenger, a Skyboy and a 2-seat Flightstar ­ attended the Ramona Air Fair in northern San Diego County, California.

Ramona airport manager Richard Salinger invited the SDUA members to the Air Fair as part of ongoing cooperative efforts to open more of San Diego's regional airports to ultralight traffic. After several recent successful flights by groups of SDUA pilots into San Diego County desert airports, the club was requested to fly into the Ramona Air Fair and perform an informal demonstration weaving around a group of hot-air balloons.

The ultralight group arrived the afternoon before the balloon fly-by because of concerns that typical "June gloom" conditions on the morning of June 2 would have prevented a flight from the coastal Otay Airpark where many of the pilots are based. On June 2, the balloons fired up as early as 7 a.m. and the ultralights were in the air by 7:30 a.m. Although a few of the balloons quickly drifted up into the 1,000-foot ceiling, most of the balloons stayed low enough for a good show for early Air Fair visitors.

The balloons and ultralights were a colorful and cheery display, brightening up a gray morning for residents of Ramona.

- Report and photos filed by Lisa Butler

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