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TORRANCE : Safety Concerns Could Spell End to Air Fair

March 16, 1995|MARY GUTHRIE

The Torrance Air Fair could be canceled this year because of concerns about safety.

Last year, more than 12,000 people attended the two-day event, and most of them came to enjoy the aerobatic flight demonstrations, organizers said.

But city officials don't like the flights because of the costs and concerns about liability and safety risks. In a memo to the City Council, City Manager LeRoy J. Jackson recommended canceling the event this year, and limiting future events to ground displays and high-altitude flyovers.

Since 1992, when the General Aviation Center opened, the Air Fairs have grown. The city celebrated the dedication with field displays and some helicopter flights.

The next year the Air Fair included some flight demonstrations, but because the events cost about $25,000 each year, city officials didn't want to sponsor a third Air Fair.

A group of citizens stepped in and organized the Torrance Air Fair Assn. to sponsor the 1994 Air Fair. The group was helped by a contribution from the city.

But when breakdowns in communication between the association and city staff resulted in aerobatic flights and flyovers last year--including flights by one plane that had no proof of insurance--city officials balked, Jackson said.

The City Council will consider whether to cancel the air show at its March 28 meeting.

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