Monday, September 11, 2017

Fly-In: Le Sueur Lions host pancake breakfast for pilots and locals

Charles Kotaseck and Alycia Favolise both have a long-running love of planes.

Both the middle-schoolers came to their appreciation different ways, but both were full of questions for the pilots rolling into the Le Sueur Municipal Airport for the fourth Annual Fly-In Breakfast.

“Anything with an engine I love, but I absolutely love planes,” Favolise said.

The breakfast, put on by the Le Sueur Lions Club, had pilots from around the state dropping in for a round of pancakes and sausage, though turnout was a little tougher due to some inclement weather around Ottowa.

But the planes that came showed up in style. One of the centerpieces was a bright-red 1943 Boeing Stearman biplane. The plane was referred to as “The Red Baron” by a handful of visiting kids who inspected the craft with their parents.

Mark Walter, the plane’s pilot, said that this fly-in was the first that he had been to this season, but normally he makes it out to more.

“I’m here for the pancakes,” he said.

The draw was enough to give Kotaseck and Favolise people to pepper with questions and show off a little bit of their own aviation knowledge. Kotaseck said that he developed a love for planes since he was young. His house stands about one mile away in line with the airport’s runway. He said planes often flying directly overhead.

The spot, combined with a deep interest in the planes, has given Charles Kotaseck with an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the different qualities and quirks to airplane designs, his father said.

Now, Craig and Charles Kotaseck visit fly-ins around the state each year, but said that they makes sure to support their local breakfast event. This year’s timing means they won’t have to skip one of the largest events up in Hector.

Profits from the 250 visitors who attended the pilots-eat-free event will be directed toward community projects and organizations, including developing plans for a new dog park in Le Sueur. William Ingersoll, Lions Club president, said that some of the funds could also be dedicated to hurricane relief in Texas and Florida following a series of intense storms that swept across the Gulf of Mexico in the last few weeks.

Tim Ziebarth, chairman for the fly-in, said the Lions Club works with the local pilots association to set up the event and organize pilots. He said that the event also serves to promote the airport, reminding locals that it’s there and available for service.

Alycia Favolise said that she liked the way the money was raised, because it gives people a chance to come together and talk, connect with pilots and, of course, a chance to check out the planes themselves.

“I believe magical things happen here,” she said.

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