Pancho Barnes Fly-In, Drive-In – CANCELLED



The Pancho Barnes Fly-In, Drive-In Party at Van Nuys Airport, Clay Lacy Aviation that was scheduled for July 16th, 2016, 11 am to 4 pm has been CANCELLED. If you have already purchased tickets you should have received a refund for the purchase.

We wish to give a huge thank you to our event sponsor, Clay Lacy for his continued support. We also offer another huge thank you to John Tallichet and Specialty Restaurants for their support.



The Flight Test Historical Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. The FTHF is not a part of the Department of Defense or any of its components and it has no government status.


Pancho Barnes (1901 – 1975) is considered by many to be one of the 20th century’s greatest american characters. During her lifetime, Pancho (born Florence Leontine Lowe) was renowned for her individuality, outsized personality, creativity, entrepreneurship, humor, generosity and integrity.

PB, arm around aircraft prop copy

A legend in the aviation community, she was one of the first female pilots to be licensed in the United States, and one of the most respected pilots of the Golden Age of Flight. She was a renowned stunt pilot, and she holds the distinction of being Lockheed’s first female test pilot.

Pancho became the “Fastest Woman on Earth” on August 4, 1930, when she beat the world’s speed record set by flying aviatrix Amelia Earhart. Later on, Barnes gained international fame when she founded the Happy Bottom Riding Club” at what is now Edwards Air Force Base in California. Club members could fly into her FAA approved airport, and engage in a variate of activities, such as rodeos at her championship rodeo stadium, horse-riding, dancing, swimming in her large circular pool, and having a steak meal or a drink at the bar.

Additionally, on her 380 acre ranch, The Rancho Oro Verde, she had a thriving dairy, cattle and hog business. During the height of the Happy Bottom Riding Club’s success, there were over 9,000 members worldwide, including heads of state, high ranking military, actors, actresses, famous writers and artists.

At Pancho’s, everyone who liked to enjoy and celebrate life was welcome. Her favorite saying was, “When you have a choice, choose happy.”

smiling PB cockpit holds goggles mid-res copy

Photos and biography are copyrighted and printed with permission of the Estate of Pancho Barnes.