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FAMILY: in and around the Valley | FOR THE KIDS

Peer Piloting

Youth who flew to Moscow in '94 will give career advice at collectors show.


When Katrina Mumaw, now a Lancaster High School freshman, broke the sound barrier while flying a Russian MiG-29 jet fighter, her reaction was, "I thought it was really neat."

That was in July 1994 when Katrina, at age 11 and already a veteran pilot, traveled alone to Moscow. She had started flying at 8. Since then, the media has dubbed her "the world's fastest kid." This Saturday she'll appear at the Burbank Aviation Museum's Memorabilia Collectors Show.

One reason she'll attend the show at the California Army National Guard Armory is to speak with other youngsters in searching of model planes, books and small collectibles.

Katrina plans to tell them about what she calls "air-mindedness." She will act as a peer counselor for kids interested in an aeronautical career, urging them "not to let the doubts of others hold you back."

Between 10 a.m. and noon Saturday she'll sign pictures, meeting and greeting youths at the booth of the Burbank Aviation Museum.

No slacker in pursuit of her own dream, Katrina has cut back on her flying schedule (she's already piloted 34 different craft) to concentrate on maintaining a 4-point-plus grade average. Her goal is to gain admission to the U.S. Air Force Academy and, she hopes, become a fighter pilot.

One of the programs Katrina recommends for youths interested in piloting or aeronautical engineering is the Young Eagles Program, which provides free flights for kids. It operates from several local private airports. (For information, call [818] 725-4AIR.)

At Saturday's collectors show there will be booths selling Air Force badges and hats from various nations, operating manuals for aircraft, as well as modern and classic model airplanes--assembled and in kit form.

Chris Butler, a La Mesa Junior High seventh-grader, will preside at the Thompson Aviation Library booth. Already an experienced pilot (youths can fly accompanied by an instructor, but not be licensed until 16), Butler also builds model airplanes using plans first published in World War II.

"Kids in high school then were given paper plans and (pieces of) wood to build models to train them to identify enemy and U.S. plane types," he explained.

The memorabilia show is a fund-raising event for the Burbank Aviation Museum. Admission is free. The museum is a few paces west of the show site on Valhalla Drive, through the gates of Valhalla Memorial Park.


Show--Annual Burbank Aviation Museum Memorabilia Show, Saturday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., California Army National Guard Armory, 3800 W. Valhalla Drive, Burbank; free. For more information, call (818) 845-3300.

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