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Destination: breakfast

Destination: breakfast

May 16th, 2018 by Helen Wilbers in News

A patron at Elton Hensley Memorial Airport works on an aircraft. This Saturday, come visit the airport to enjoy a pancake breakfast and nifty planes between 7-11 a.m.

Photo by Helen Wilbers /Fulton Sun.

Planes, bikes and hot pancakes.

That's the heart of the annual Pancake Breakfast and Fly-In at Elton Hensley Memorial Airport.

The event takes place 7-11 a.m. Saturday at the airport, 4420 County Road 304, Fulton. Everyone is welcome and breakfast costs whatever the customer deems to be a fair price.

"In previous years, we used to set an adult price and a child price," Kingdom Pilots Association treasurer Dave Hollabaugh said. "I think it was two years ago, we started trying a free-will donation, because we didn't want to price anybody out. We'd rather have people come out and enjoy the morning and see some airplanes."

The KPA hosts this annual event, and proceeds go toward improvements at the airport and funding scholarships for young pilots. Since the last breakfast, the KPA has awarded one scholarship and purchased some comfy furniture for the pilot lounge.

"When pilots are visiting or have been weathered in for a while, they have a place to relax," Hollabaugh said.

Scholarship applications are open to students 16 and up from Callaway, Audrain, Boone, Cole, Osage and Montgomery counties. Each scholarship of up to $1,500 should fund 15 hours of ground and flight instruction, enabling the student to reach a solo license.

"There's been years with no scholarships, and prior to my time, years with two or even three scholarships," Hollabaugh added. "If we have the funds in the treasury and we have qualified applicants, we don't restrict ourselves."

Applications can be found at facebook.com/KingdomPilotsAssociation or at the pancake breakfast.

At the breakfast, visitors can also expect to see a firetruck, some fancy Harley-Davidson motorcycles, the helicopter from the University of Missouri hospital and a Civil Air Patrol Cessna 172, among other aircraft.

"As far as people flying in, once again, it's weather-dependent," Hollabaugh said, citing the chance of thunderstorms Saturday morning. "It's Missouri in May."

In years when the weather has cooperated, pilots often fly in from far-flung corners of the state and beyond. Hollabaugh enjoys watching the planes arrive.

"My favorite part is when we have good weather and we get a lot of airplanes coming in," he said. "We'll get some home-built airplanes and some experimental airplanes. People can get up close and look at them and talk to the pilots."

The most unusual aircraft he can recall seeing at the event was a Pietenpol Air Camper, a small home-built craft designed in the '20s.

"Most of these small-plane engines are air-cooled, but this one is water-cooled, so it has a big radiator sticking out its front like your car," Hollabaugh explained.

Also common are Zeniths, a kit aircraft offered by a company headquartered in nearby Mexico.

Young event attendees may even have a chance to fly. Hollabaugh said there are plans to offer flights to students who've participated in the Wright Flight program, and members of the Young Eagles chapter from Jefferson City may also attend. Those flights are open to children age 8-17.

Flight availability is contingent on weather, the number of pilots attending and the number of eligible children.