More than 300 descend on airport for fly-in breakfast
Organizers delighted as bright weather brings in planes - and crowds
It was a long way to come for breakfast, from Kamloops, B.C. to Barrhead. And if you factor in all costs, the price of enjoying a pancake was probably a bit high.
Yet for Captain Doug Foster, Brett Vos, Bryan Vye and Darvy Mellish it was time – and money – well spent.
After all, what better way to spend Sunday morning than with fellow aviators at Barrhead Flying Club’s annual Fly-in Breakfast?
For Capt. Foster there is an extra incentive to come: he is a good friend of the Evans family, who have been associated with flying for generations.
Wade Evans is currently the club president and was thrilled to welcome visitors from so far away.
“Doug and my dad were friends for many years,” he said. “We put Doug up in a hotel on Saturday evening. We have a bit of a laugh about him coming here for a $500 pancake!”
Thirty-five other planes registered for the third edition of the 8 a.m.-11 a.m. event, which was blessed by glorious sunshine.
If not for a scheduling clash with another fly-in south of Edmonton, even more aviators might have come, perhaps matching the 50-plus that arrived in 2010. What delighted, and perhaps surprised, organizers was the response of the community.
Club members had anticipated about 250 breakfasts. In fact, 320 people arrived to tuck into sausages, ham, scrambled eggs and, of course, pancakes, which many preferred to eat coated in margarine and syrup.
Evans said the purpose of the fly-in was to get aviators to come together, to enjoy breakfast and exchange stories.
With summer approaching, flying enthusiasts were entering their busiest season.
“We are very happy with how things went today,” he said. “To get so many people here is amazing. It was a great three hours, that’s for sure.
“We really appreciate the support shown by the community. I would like to thank everyone who came.”
Evans praised the Air Cadets who helped with the big clean-up afterwards. He also thanked Parsons Auctions, Belevedere Community for laying out tables and chairs, and Neerlandia Co-op who loaned grills.
Some of the aviators flew in from as far away as Vernon, B.C., and High Level. But none had to travel so many hundreds of kilometers as Capt. Foster and his crew.
Not that distance is a problem for former Army Capt. Foster, who has been flying for more than 40 years and still loves it.
“Flying is a disease,” he smiled.
His career has including training students in an Air Cadets flying program, aircraft maintenance, and flying for charter companies.
He has ownership or part-ownership of a Cessna 185 and 17 A, although he flew to Barrhead in a friend’s Piper Cherokee 235.
Another Cessna devotee is Evans. He inherited a 1956 Cessna 182 from his dad.
“It has been in the family since 1978,” he said. “I come from an aviation family and love to fly.”
Evans, who also has a Piper PA16 1949, said the club was trying to raise awareness of flying and attract more members – it currently has 21 members.
He is particularly keen for younger people to get involved. At 41, Evans is by some distance the youngest club member.
The club would also like to get a flight instructor.
“We want to get people hooked on flying,” he said.
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