The Merritt Flying Club will be celebrating the Labour Day long weekend with another fly-in this season.

“We’d love to invite the public to come in and look at the aircraft and perhaps have breakfast with us,” said Herb Graham, secretary-treasurer of the flying club.

Graham expects as many as 40 airplanes from across the region to arrive at the Merritt Airport in the morning on Sunday, Sept. 4. The Merritt Flying Club has extended invitations to other flying clubs across the province including Abbotsford, Vernon, Kelowna, Salmon Arm, Cache Creek and Kamloops.

Graham says the club will serve a pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to around 11 a.m. and he encourages locals to stop by and see the planes, which will probably begin leaving after lunch. In addition to aircraft, visitors may get to see some vintage automobiles as well.

“We’re going to invite the local car club to come and display their cars at the same time,” said Graham.

Just a month ago the flying club hosted a fly-in to celebrate Transportation Day as a part of Merritt’s 100 Anniversary Homecoming Week. Graham said the event was well attended and that support is growing for the club all the time.

With this in mind, the flying club is looking for ways to share the joy of flying with more people and a flight school is in the works.

“The directors have decided that it’s time to get a few more people interested [in flying],” said Graham. “We have about eight aircraft and 14 members in the club.”

“We’re growing fast and we’d like to get a few more and the best type of members to have are pilots.”

Graham says the flying club is actively looking for people interested in a private pilot’s license program. Once there are about ten or 15 interested people, he says the club can set up a satellite flight school from the Merritt airport. An instructor would come to the airport and bring a plane for the flight students to use.

“We’re going to try and accommodate people who are working during the day so they’ll be able to take ground school at night and fly on the weekend,” said Graham, who says there was a flight school in Merritt about 30 years ago.

When he got his own license ten years ago, Graham had to hire a private instructor and have him come to Merritt.

Anyone interested in the flight school can contact Herb Graham as 250-378-7075 or by email at [email protected].