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Pancho Barnes Day
Members of the Ninety-Nines and their families talk to attendees of Pancho Barnes Day Nov. 7. Pancho Barnes Day is an annual event, held to recognize the contributions of females made to aviation. (Air Force photo/William O'Brien)
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Team Edwards celebrates Pancho Barnes Day

Posted 11/10/2009   Updated 11/13/2009 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class William A. O'Brien
95th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

11/10/2009 - EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The 412th Test Wing hosted the 29th Annual Pancho Barnes Day at Arnold Park Nov.7.

"This has been a tough year for the Flight Test Center," said Colonel Thornton. "We come together today in the midst of some tragedies this year and it's important that while we remember the contributions that Pancho Barnes and women have made to the mission of flight test, that we too remember those who have given the full sacrifice for that same mission."

"During today's celebration there will be a few speeches, a movie about Pancho Barnes, a couple booths, women from Aviation International and the 99s club, a free band, games, contests and free food," said Colonel Thornton.

Pancho Barnes Day is an annual event to celebrate the contributions of female aviators to flight test history. Usually held in September, the event was pushed back to November because of other base-wide events.

"This is the 29th Annual Pancho Barnes celebration," said Col. William Thornton, 412th Test Wing commander. "Initially, there was a decision to cancel this celebration this year, but we decided against that. It is important that we remember the traditions of Edwards and what makes us unique."

Because of the Air Show and other commitments, base officials originally decided to cancel the event, but after considering its importance to the base's heritage, it was decided that a scaled back version could be held without overwhelming base personnel.

"Things like this are what make us special and unique," said Colonel Thornton. "We're going to persevere to do this. This year is kind of a scaled down version because of the quick reaction to get something going, but even if just a few people came to remember, we're going to remember."

The celebration included displays about Pancho Barnes and the Ninety-Nines, as well as free food, a band and games and activities for participants to take part in.

"The people who put on this event did a fantastic job," said Tech. Sgt. James Anderson, 412th command chief executive. "I wish the turnout could've been better, but I was happy we were able to keep the tradition alive and I look forward to going again next year."

10/24/2014 11:56:34 PM ET
I lived on Pancho Barnes ranch when it burned in 1953. She was a real character and it was a kick to know her.
Clint Moore, Pioche Nv.
12/4/2013 2:28:13 AM ET
HI. I am a pancho and aviation fan and would like to go to one of these annual celebrations. thanks. this is 2013 and I would like to go next year. when will it be thanks
ALAN HARALDSON, henderson nevada
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