John Ross and his volunteers (Ross Video people in the kitchen, other helpers landing and guiding planes) looked tired Sunday afternoon on July 21. However, everyone was smiling.
“I think this Fly In Breakfast may be one of our most successful ever,” Ross said. “We served 700 breakfast. It would be impossible to run this event without these wonderful volunteers.”
The annual Fly In, which makes Iroquois the ‘go-to destination’ for pilots and planes, and those who are simply interested in seeing the aircraft and chatting with the flyers, saw 60 planes arrive before 9 a.m. All told, as many as 80 or 90 dropped in during the morning.
After some definite weather concerns Friday (high winds, downpours and tornado watches), Mother Nature decided to co-operate. The skies were sunny, the humidity gone, and the crowds were out in force from 7:30 a.m.
Pilots registered from such places as Rockcliffe, Beaver Lake, Montréal, Belle Isle, Kingston, and even farther afield. Many, like Henri Monnin, who brought his yellow Murphy Rebel in from Indian Creek, were return visitors who look forward to the annual Iroquois Fly In Breakfast.
Jean Sebastien Dominique, who arrived in his Piper Cherokee 140 shared a story with people. He flies with the registered charity, Pilots and Paws Canada. Its members, volunteer civilian pilots, transport abandoned or abused dogs to adoptive homes all over Canada. They have also flown animals out of the North for emergency treatment and care. As Dominique said, with a laugh, “I’ve flown my Cherokee with a St. Bernard and a Great Pyrenees acting as my co-pilots.”
Also garnering much crowd interest were a World War II Harvard trainer, and a group of Ultra Lights that dropped in from Belle Isle.
Pilot Richard Hudin described his Ultra Light as a “weight shift.” “I fly it by shifting my weight from side to side in the seat. The craft’s top speed is around 85 to 90 miles and hour. It took us about 90 minutes to fly here.”
He pilots a Quik R model Explorer, an ultra light that comes from the United Kingdom, and has earned the nickname, the “Trike,” for its three landing wheels.
Joining the Fly In again this year, were members of the Golden Gears Car Club. The crowd was eager to look at the nearly 40 models on display in the field next to the landing strip, and to talk to owners and restorers. A little “cruisin’” music playing in the background set the mood.
“I believe that the combination of cars with the flying added hugely to our attendance at this local event,” said John Ross.
Funds raised at the Fly In Breakfast are employed in the maintenance and care of the Iroquois airport.