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9th Annual West Coast Formation Clinic

Held during the weekend of May 19-21, 2006, warbirds gathered once again for the annual West Coast Formation Clinic held at Castle Airport in Atwater, near Merced. Co-hosted by the Golden Gate Wing of the Commemorative Air Force and Canon Aviation Insurance, Trojans, Texans, Mustangs and Eastern Block aircraft gathered for a weekend of formation training. Participants will usually earn their FAST (Formation and Safety) Cards once they reach the required level of proficiency, which generally comes after ground school and an intensive flying curriculum.  FAST cards allow the holder to fly formation in "waivered" airspace the FAA controls at major air shows throughout the country.  While some pilots return each year to remain current or to help train new pilots in formation flying, some of them will move from a Wing pilot to a Lead pilot. This training event with meals and lodging are coordinated by Stacey and Dan Roads, insuring that the weekend's schedule ran smoothly.  Weather was slightly overcast through the weekend helping to keep temperatures down, and also the number of registered aircraft was down, possibly due to the cost of aviation fuel at $5.00+ a gallon, and the Planes of Fame air show taking place at Chino, CA on the same weekend.

A special thanks goes to Andrew Swart and Ross Bausone for helping me get into the air for a formation flight, and Ken Karas who flew me once again in his T-28 Trojan.

There is text attached to all the photographs.

All photographs (digital - Canon 20D) were taken by Roger Cain (SAH 2).

These photographs posted on 7-31-06

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