Patriotism was in the air, spirit was in the heart, but the largest human flag didn't get to fly during this year's Victor Valley Air show at the Hesperia Airport last weekend. It was the major event at this year's air show and an attempt at getting in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's largest human flag.

Organizer of the event, Don Webb, said that time and logistics were the major obstacles in getting it done. He did the math and to create the largest human flag he needed 1,274 people holding up red, white and blue `cheer cards'. The cards are the same as those used in stadiums at college football games and flipping them to create images.

"We had 300 people out on the airfield and 600 in line getting cards, be we needed more time and more people to get it done," Webb said.

Volunteers began lining up at about 10 a.m. to pick up the cards. Nearly two hours later it became clear that more time and more people would be needed. Reluctantly, Webb and the air show coordinators had to cancel the human flag. Airport officials determined they could not keep the Hesperia Airport closed for the amount of time needed to organize the nearly 1300 people on the airfield into the flag. The size of the human flag, according to Webb's calculations, will be about 66 feet by 90 feet.

The human flag was sponsored by the Daily Press and Hesperia Star at the request of the Victor Valley Airshow organizers.
"This is something that has never been done before. We wanted to try something new but it didn't work out this time," said Claus Enevoldsen, Director of Marketing for the Daily Press and Hesperia Star.

"We want to thank everybody and all the volunteers who wanted to be a part of this," Enevoldsen said. He said the paper was asked to participate about two weeks ago and feels the turn out and effort by all involved is remarkable considering the short time frame to bring it together.

Webb said this is not going to get him down. He says he already has plans in the works for getting it done. "We'll dove tail this human flag into some event and make it happen," he said.

Otherwise the air show was a great success, according to airport supervisor Gary Abbott.

He estimated that nearly 9,000 people attended this year's event to see more than 60 different types of aircraft from the largest bi-plane ever built to a small homemade plane constructed by Norm Dodge of Big Bear in his basement. "It took two years and about 4,000 hours to build. I bought every part that's on the plane from either aircraft supply shops or hardware stores," Dodge said. He says the two seater is a pusher `pusher plane' meaning the propeller is in the rear. It takes him and his wife just about anywhere they want to go.

Many of the aircraft are WWII vintage that were restored to their original condition, but with upgraded avionics and communications.
President of the Victor Valley Air Show Associations Randy Banks says that one of the more thrilling aspects of the show is when planes do a low fly by. He says the visitors get a very real sense of speed of some of the aircraft when they fly a few feet off the ground at top speeds. The planes are almost a blur as they fly past spectators.

Pilots from all over the southwest flew in for the event to show off their aircraft and in some cases gave history lessons on the more vintage planes. Many are former military pilots who never lost their love of flight and give wings to their past time of aircraft restoration. For some of the pilots the Victor Valley Air Show is one stop of many in this modern day type of barn storming where pilots get to show off and give flight to their fancy.

Towards the end of the event Abbott commented that the vendors at the air show are glad to see the large turn out. "The show is definitely a success for those who set up a booth offering various items for purchase. They are very happy," Abbott said.
Everybody involved with this year's show view it as a great success and feel it will lead to a bigger program next year.

Watch Patrick Thatcher's video of the Airshow on hesperistar.com Tuesday.