Quincy News

Father's Day breakfast gets people interested in aviation

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jun. 19, 2017 9:40 am

QUINCY -- D.D. Bartley doesn't miss celebrating Father's Day with her dad, John Blickhan.

Each year, she flies in from Los Angeles to stay and spend the weekend with Blickhan and do activities together that they as a family enjoy.

The weekend activities might vary, but the one mainstay tradition is eating out at the Father's Day fly-in/drive-in breakfast, hosted by the local Experimental Aircraft Association and held in the Great River Aviation Hanger at the Quincy Regional Airport.

"I make the 1,500-mile trip (from Los Angeles to Quincy) for breakfast," Bartley said with a laugh.

Blickhan estimates he and his family have been coming to the annual breakfast for more than 30 years and often take off from his private air strip to attend it.

"I fly the 5 miles from my house to the airport to enjoy the breakfast," he said. "We don't miss this. We've been coming here since it used to be held in Taylor (Mo.)."

The EAA Chapter 488 Father's Day breakfast has been held for more than 40 years.

"We've got about 20 of us working this breakfast. And if we go by sausage patties -- we purchase 160 pounds of sausage patties, and four patties are in a pound -- then we're serving about 600 people," chapter Vice President Lewis Ihnen explained.

All money raised from the breakfast helps the chapter sponsor a youth to attend an aviation academy. Nobody is being sponsored this year, but there will be somebody to send to an aviation academy next year, Ihnen said.

The all-you-can-eat breakfast included pancakes and sausage with juice, milk and coffee.

Throughout the morning, EAA volunteer pilots with the Young Eagles program gave kids 8 through 17 their first ride in airplane, free of charge. The goal of the program is to introduce kids to aviation.

"We've all spent Father's Day giving kids rides and putting on this breakfast," Ihnen said. "The goal is to get people, young and old, interested in aviation."

Jamie Andino and Dean Mowen attended the Father's Day breakfast for the first time so Mario Andino, 15, could ride in his first airplane.

"It wasn't as scary as I thought. It was actually pretty fun," Mario Andino said.

For many others like Bartley and Blickhan, attending the breakfast is a yearly ritual.

"I fly in from Mexico, Mo.," David Taylor said. "I look forward to this every year."

The clear skies after previous stormy weather made it a nice day to enjoy the fly-in/drive-in breakfast.

"It's a beautiful day, it's a fun get-together to see old friends, it's a good fundraiser, and it's a good reason to come back to Quincy" Bartley said.

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