“We were a little afraid two weeks ago that the weather would be against us. The original forecast was for soggy conditions,” said John Ross, chief organizer of the annual Iroquois Fly In Breakfast, held at the air port on Sunday, July 15. “But it didn’t. As you can see, it’s actually a bit of madness here in the kitchen with nearly 700 turning up for breakfast. But it’s wonderful madness. Just great!”
Two teams of volunteers from Ross Video served up the food while many other volunteers landed and parked planes and saw them safely on their way again.
Volunteer Perry Stacey, who was manning the pilot book indicated that “50 pilots signed in by 11 a.m. They came from all over, but I believe the farthest travelled from St. Sebastien and Palmer Rapids.”
Some pilots, like André Durocher, based in Rockcliffe, are repeat visitors to the Fly In. Durocher arrived in a fully restored 1946 VeeBee. “I try to get here to Iroquois every year,” he said. “It’s a great event.”
Other pilots, like Luc Thibault, who arrived in a very small, home-built Hummel Bird, were first time visitors.
“I had heard about this Iroquois Fly In,” Thibault said, “but I had no idea how big it was. This is impressive.”
Adding to the interest and excitement generated by the Fly In was the addition, this year, of a Cruise In, organized by the Golden Gears Car Club. Club members and exhibitors set up their vintage vehicles just north of the air port and drew appreciative crowds all morning.
“This is our first venture in combination with the Fly In,” said Gears president Henry Swank. “John (Ross) seemed very keen for us to join in, so we thought we would try this venue out to see how it works. So far, I have to say the experience has been wonderful. We’ve had a big response, lots of people coming to see our cars and trucks. People really seem to like this car/plane combination. We actually signed up some new club members this morning.”
A big crowd pleaser among the arriving air craft this year was Otto Dietrich’s fully restored 1940 Tiger Moth. Dietrich, from St. Lazar, found the plane in 1993, and spent years bringing it back to its original condition. “I try to get down to this Iroquois Fly In every year,” he said. “Very enjoyable event.”
The funds raised at the annual Fly In Breakfast go to the maintenance and care of the Iroquois air port.