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Mustang aircrafts attract plane lovers, history buffs at annual event

Mustang Days 10_13_12

Jason Keiter, right, watches his son, Dakota Keiter, 8, sit in the cockpit of a BT-13B World War II-era trainer plane Saturday at the Mustang Days event at the Nut Tree Airport in Vacaville. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

By
From page A3 | October 14, 2012 |

VACAVILLE — An airplane decked out with the Jelly Belly logo flew overhead as people of all ages said “oooo” and “ahhh” at the fourth annual Mustang Days.

There were no huge jets or impressively large planes at this event, but the small Mustang aircrafts such as the Jelly Belly plane still attracted thousands of interested visitors on Saturday.

Eleven or so Mustang aircrafts were on display for this year’s Mustang Days, an annual fundraiser to support the Jimmy Doolittle Air and Space Museum at Travis Air Force Base. Plane owners from up and down the West Coast bring their prized possessions to show them off on the ground and in the sky.

Many of the planes have a long and storied histories.

The Jelly Belly plane, dubbed “Sparky,” is a P-51 owned and flown by Grant Seghetti. It scored three confirmed “kills” during World War II when it was flown by Maj. Ralph “Doc” Watson in the 52nd Fighter Group in Italy.

Other planes have been in famous hands, such as the P-51 named “Comfortably Numb” named after a song by David Gilmour of the band Pink Floyd, the previous owner of the plane. It is now owned by Terry Tarditi of Lodi.

Visitor Larry Willamen brought his young son Matthew to pass down his love of planes to the younger generation, he said. Although he’s never been to the  Jimmy Doolittle Air and Space Museum, he has loved coming out to Mustang Days for the past couple of years.

“I just love planes and aviation . . . especially from World War II,” he said. “I brought my son here so he could see what my obsession is all about.”

Reach Heather Ah San at 427-6977 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/HeatherMalia.

Heather Ah San

Heather Ah San

Heather Ah San covers Rio Vista, features and general news for the Daily Republic. She received her bachelors of art degree from the University of Oregon.
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