Kevin Lumb pilots a Enstrom helicopter at a previous Brandon Flight Club Fly-In Breakfast. (File)

Pilots from around Manitoba will touch down at the Brandon Municipal Airport on Sat., July 22 for the Brandon Flight Centre’s fly-in breakfast, featuring pancakes and bacon, a car show and a chance for guests to take to the skies.

The fly-in breakfast returned last year to a large crowd, and flight centre Executive Director David Creighton says he expects this years event to draw even more people, whether they fly in or drive.

“Typically, what I found with these events is every year that we do them, they have a tendency to grow in size,” Creighton told the Sun. “I think last year we had 350 folks that attended, and as people start getting back into the swing of things, I’m expecting it to probably be in the 500 range.”

Over the last few years, Creighton and the team at the flight centre have taken to social media to spread the word about what they offer — from sightseeing and discovery flights and flying lessons to partnering with education institutions to offer aviation management certificates, and more.

The Brandon Municipal Airport is in a great location, Creighton said, thanks to it being a low-air-traffic area and the friendly staff and volunteers at the training facility.

“When people are training here, it’s very much a family atmosphere. It’s not like they walk in and they’re just numbers,” he said. “A lot of students visit us, they have lunch with us, they play with the dogs, they’ll cuddle up with the cat on the couch.”

Pilots aren’t the only ones who are able to attend the breakfast. People interested in getting into the world of aviation, or who just want to enjoy a nice breakfast and take a flight or look at some airplanes and classic cars from the Road Rebels group are welcome too, Creighton said.

“Most flying clubs will do the fly-in breakfast with the idea that folks from other flying clubs and communities will fly their planes and come to have breakfast and just kind of hang out for a while, but the vast majority of people that we have coming out to it are people that just drive up to the airport and come and get to check it out, kind of be part of the atmosphere.”

Sightseeing flights will be offered on a first come, first served basis for $25 per person. There is limited space, but Creighton says the pilots always try their best to make sure everyone who wants to gets to take to the skies.

“We’ll have five aircraft giving tours, and they basically kind of go non-stop, from first thing in the morning until about one o’clock or so. We do have to put a time limit on it because pilots do start to get pretty tired going non-stop, but it gets a lot of people in the air, and is really a lot of fun,” Creighton said.

Barry Sloane served as the president of the Brandon Flight Centre in the past and is still an active part of the aviation community. He’s also still flying his airplane and plans to fly it from his home in Clear Lake to take part in the fly-in breakfast.

The change that Sloane has seen the flying centre go through with Creighton at the helm has been incredibly positive, he said.

“David was able to put together a group of good instructors,” Sloane said. “Things are looking pretty good.”

Sloane is looking forward to seeing the Road Rebels car club’s display at the breakfast, and seeing people of all ages come to enjoy the event and learn more about aviation. He recommends anyone interested in flying lessons to inquire with the flight centre volunteers at the breakfast.

“There’ll be people there to talk to. The instructors will be there,” he said. “It’s going to be fun. Flying can be very, very professional, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.”

The fly-in breakfast will begin at 8 a.m.

By Miranda Leybourne, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jul 20, 2023 at 07:15

This item reprinted with permission from   Brandon Sun   Brandon, Manitoba
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