Historic Planes of Fame Airshow Being Sued for “Obstruction” of Businesses

By Marissa Mitchell


Chino – A lawsuit recently filed is seeking to stop the historic airshow held annually at the Planes of Fame Air Museum. The air show is scheduled to take place on May 6 and 7 at Chino Airport.

The suit alleges that the event “obstructs and impedes” other tenants’ business operations, thus violating the licensing conditions of the event itself. The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages and the hearing is scheduled April 20 in San Bernardino County Superior Court.

Harry T. Geier, director of marketing and development at Planes of Fame, remarked, “As we await the judge’s decision on April 20th, we are going forward with preparations and looking forward to the show.”

Planes of Fame is a nonprofit organization led by Steve Hinton, a warbird devotee and former champion air-racer. The organization has submitted an online appeal for supporters to help save the 25th annual air show of this historic landmark.

The online petition had gathered 14,670 voters by April 12 out of a desired 15,000, exhibiting a strong desire for the continuation of the show. On the petition website, the organization stated that the air show, “serves as the primary fundraising effort for the Planes of Fame Air Museum…[It] helps us to carry on our mission to preserve aviation history, inspire an interest in aviation, education of the public, and honor aviation pioneers and veterans.”

On April 2, the law firm Borchard & Callahan announced the lawsuit on behalf of several airport tenants, including Zangeneh Aeronautics, Socal MRO, Flying Tigers Aviation, Yanks Air Museum, and AFT Center. All businesses allege that the losses over the 9-day period of set-up, event, and take down for the airshow are significant.

Nonetheless, Geier noted, the museum is still selling tickets online, but, he stated, “if the airshow is cancelled due to decision, we will refund all of the tickets bought in advance on our website.”

Up to this point, all of the acts for the historic airshow have already been scheduled.

“The volunteers and workers are committed and the airshow performers are looking forward to participating and supporting the air show on May 6 and 7,” declared director Geier optimistically. With much public support rallying behind them, Planes of Fame staff and community family hope to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the museum with another successful airshow.