The Fly-in Pancake Breakfast

More than a dozen years ago, we were tooling around the back roads of the Hudson Valley in an MG Midget when an experimental aircraft buzzed over head. It looked like a lawn mower with wings - not much bigger than our car. A week later we saw the contraption being pulled behind a truck and followed it to a grassy airstrip. As my husband fearlessly took a ride—climbing a thousand feet above the Hudson River—I chatted up one of the pilot's students with feet firmly planted on the ground. 

He introduced us to Chapter 146  of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) which hosts a bi-annual—Spring and Fall—fly-in pancake breakfast at the Kline Kill Airport (NY1) in West Ghent, New York. 

Year after year the event grows bigger and bigger. Dozens of planes—from a shiny silver Cessna to a lipstick red Stinson Flying Station Wagon— line both sides of the green, grassy-lined air strip. 

Sitting across from a total stranger at communal tables eating plates heaped with buttermilk pancakes, eggs, and bacon, it's not uncommon to hear someone ask "what did you folks fly-in this morning?". Alas our MG has not sprouted wings.

jane beck

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