Mid-Way Fly-In celebrates 20th anniversary

ANDREW BRANCA Daily Light Staff Writer
Visitors at Mid-Way Regional airport in Midlothian check out a helicopter on display Saturday during the 20th annual Pancake Breakfast Fly-in.

MIDLOTHIAN – The threat of rain didn’t deter the crowds from coming out to Mid-Way Regional Airport’s annual Pancake Breakfast Fly-In. Airplanes, helicopter rides, classic cars, children’s activities and pancakes were all apart the fun being served up at the airport.

This was the 20th anniversary for the event, which took place Saturday, following a week of heavy downpours and flooding in parts of Ellis County.

“We are just thrilled that weather had finally cooperated and that we have no rain. It is still a little overcast. We haven’t had many people fly in as usual. We do have a good crowd and it is good to have everyone here,” Mid-Way Airport Manager Judy Demoney said. “I think the crowd is great. Everybody comes for pancakes and the pancakes are wonderful this year as usual that the Boy Scouts are providing for us. It benefits the Boy Scout troop. We have a lot of activities for the kids. We have the train and we have the bounce house. We have our demonstrations for our remote controlled aircraft and drones.”

Demoney said a drone was there to help educate people about how to properly use them and what rules they have to follow because the technology is becoming popular to own. Before using a drone, a user must have it registered with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Demoney said the day also helps educate people about the airport, its operations and what benefits it gives to Ellis County.

“We are an economic driver for the county. When people come here for the first time, they say: one, I didn’t know you where here, and two, I didn’t know it looked like this. We have a 6,500-foot runway that accommodates any business jet and we do get a lot of business jets out here. That is good for our industries out here and for economic development people wanting to bring business to our area,” Demoney said. “Then we have our general aviation area with our T-hangar rentals. We just got approval from the TxDOT Aviation Division to build 11 new hangers at the airport. This has been set aside for about a year and half, waiting on funding from the FAA. We just received it and that will be starting up in the fall. With construction beginning in November or December, that will be great because we have always got a waiting list.”

Demoney said the fly-in is a way the airport gives back to the community and the staff at the airport is already starting the planning process for next year.

Saturday’s event also featured vehicles from Midlothian Classic Wheels and motorcycles the Gold Wing Road Riders. There was also a clown entertaining the children and live music.

Midlothian resident Suzzettee Walker brought her grandchildren out to the airport not only to enjoy the planes, but the atmosphere.

“They like the balloons and they love the bounce houses. The helicopter was a win because it is fascinating to be that close. They are jumping up and down with absolute joy,” Walker said. “It is a beautiful drive-in. It is so much empty land around. I had no idea this was here. This is great. We see the planes all the time from home, but I never have driven out here.”

Stephenville resident Cory Willingham was in the area visiting family and made the trip up to the airport on Saturday morning.

“My in-laws live here in Waxahachie. We wanted to come out and take the kids to the pancake breakfast, and see the airplanes and helicopters. I am having fun. It is a great family event,” Willingham said. “I always enjoy being out at the airport and seeing the planes and everything. I know that both of my kids have really enjoyed the helicopter. It is just really cool for them and they enjoy that.”

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