Though a low ceiling and rain threatened to put a damper on the 11th annual Pancake Breakfast Fly-In at Mid-Way Regional Airport, the clouds began to break shortly after the band began to play.
With the Classic Swing Band playing big band and swing standards, the line for pancakes only grew as the morning went on, stretching out of the hangar and onto the apron as visitors awaited their first plate of flapjacks.
While there weren’t as many aircraft participating in the fly-in as in years past, those same visitors who formed the queue did their best to make up for any shortfall, turning the fields around the hangars into packed — albeit muddy — parking lots.
The improved conditions also lent themselves to some aerobatics, as demonstrated by one helicopter pilot who treated the crowd to some low-level stunts.
Doing the honors on the griddle this year was Chris Cakes, who did the pancakes “a few years ago,” Tammy Bowen said, noting that Cakes is known for flipping the pancakes right onto people’s plates. While saying this, she turned to see if any of the cook’s aerobatic skills were on display at the moment.
One of the people taking part in Saturday’s festivities was Martin Mary, one of the airport’s tenants.
Mary was volunteering at the event, helping out wherever he was needed. The funny thing is, Mary doesn’t even have a plane in the space he rents.
He sold his Cherokee 140 a few months ago, he said, and is debating whether or not to buy another plane.
“But I’ve still got my workbench in there,” he notes.
The breakfast drew in visitors young and old, with some parents bringing out their children to see their first airplanes.
Some of those children were lucky enough to convince Mom and Dad to let them go up and experience flight first-hand in flight instructor Carol Walker’s Cita Bria two-seat tail-wheel.
While the apron was dominated by Airborne Imaging’s massive DC-3 and the Trojan Phlyers’ T-28, it was also used to show off another popular form of transportation.
Midlothian Classic Wheels members brought several of their showcars to the event, along with Jason Kizlinski’s Nova, with which he earned his “King of the Track” title.
“We were pleasantly surprised how many people came out in spite of the weather,” airport manager Cam Fearis said.
While Fearis doesn’t know an exact count of the number of people that attended the breakfast, he said that “the police counted 650-670” when they were helping park vehicles.
Even though only about 20 or so aircraft were able to make it out to this year’s breakfast, Fearis did note that the Trojan Phylers, a group of pilots flying classic, propeller-driven fighter planes, were able to hold a ceremony marking their arrival at the airport.
The 11:15 ribbon-cutting at their hangar was followed by a “one-man air show,” Fearis said, recalling how the single T-28 entertained the crowd.
The fly-in was started back in 1997, a year after the airport opened.
Held annually on the first weekend in June, it coincides with Waxahachie’s Gingerbread Trail.
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