Fly-in attracts nearly 40 planes to the Merritt Airport
Nearly 40 pilots landed at the Merritt Airport on Sept. 2 for the Merritt Flying Club’s fourth pancake breakfast and fly-in, and volunteers served up over 80 breakfasts to hungry visitors.
“This was the biggest one we’ve ever had, and everyone was tickled pink with the product,” said flying club Secretary Treasurer Herb Graham. “We had a lot of great compliments and it just keeps getting bigger every time we do it.”
Guests started arriving just after 8 a.m. and by mid-morning 40 various planes were parked at the airport.
Though Graham said the flying club focused their invitations on other flying clubs, sending them to Williams Lake, Smithers, Chilliwack, Salmon Arm and Ashcroft, among other communities, nearly 20 locals also came to eat breakfast and look at the planes.
City councillors Mike Goetz and Harry Kroeker were there all morning flipping pancakes and selling tickets.
“The city councillors just dove right in,” said Graham. “We are delighted to be a part of the airport.”
The Merritt Flying Club has about 20 members, but Graham says locals are starting to show more interest than there has been for many years.
Besides planning more pancake breakfast fly-ins, Graham says the club is still trying to facilitate a flight school, which will include independent ground school studies by correspondence and weekend lessons with a flight instructor.
The flying club is also trying to facilitate the purchase of a multi-pilot owned aircraft that local pilots could buy in to.
“This would help people get enough flight hours to get their license,” said Graham. “If 10 people buy in, it might cost $5,000 each; if we only get five people, then it will cost more.”