Cool temperatures greet Stettler Fly-In visitors

Flippin’ pancakes and flyin’ objects in the air attracted about 350 people for the Stettler Flying Club’s annual Fly-In Breakfast

Flippin’ pancakes and flyin’ objects in the air attracted about 350 people for the Stettler Flying Club’s annual Fly-In Breakfast at Stettler Airport on Labour Day.

Monday’s cool, fall-like temperatures impacted the size of the crowd.

“We had about 300 to 400 people,” said Bob Krejci, who co-ordinated the event with Garry Fix. “The weather was cool and didn’t co-operate.

“With good, warm weather, we can get up to 600 people.”

The event is an opportunity to showcase the airport to all ages — from young families to seniors.

“A lot of the parents are interested and they bring their kids,” Krejci said. “We get a lot of support from the community.”

Pilots flew from Red Deer, Ponoka, Wetaskiwin, Lacombe, Millet, Rocky Mountain House, Innisfail, Morinville, Markerville, Camrose, Claresholm, Oyen, Chestermere, Olds, Bow Island, Medicine Hat, Whitecourt, Cooling Lake, Calgary and Edmonton, and Springbank and Unity, Sask.

“We had just over 60 airplanes,” said Krejci, a longtime member of the local flying club. “We had some very interesting planes, including some Second World War training aircrafts, acrobatic biplanes, ultra-lights and several home-built airplanes. One year, we had about 100.”

Since the first local fly-in breakfast about 50 years ago, interest in the hobby has taken a bit of a nosedive in recent years, he said.

“General aviation is starting to slow down, fuel costs are rising and the costs of everything else is getting high,” Krejci said.

As well, the number of communities that host fly-in breakfasts are also falling, because of the lack of volunteers, said John Wittwer, a groundskeeper and pilot.

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