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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Flagfest airshow ready to take off

Thursday, June 10, 2004

The sound of airplanes taking off and in flight will mesh with the camaraderie of pilots and other aviation enthusiasts this weekend during the Flagfest Airshow and Plight Breakfast at the Northwest Iowa Regional Airport in Spencer.

The 20th annual pancake breakfast is scheduled from 7 a.m. until 10:30. a.m. on Sunday, June 13.

Proceeds from the flight breakfast will be used to pay for the acts in an accompanying airshow, which is slated from 10:30 a.m. until noon. The airshow will feature a full aerobatic performance, specialty maneuvers, and formation flying.

Susan Dacy of Hubbard, Illinois, a three-time returning pilot to the Spencer airshow, will fly her "Big Red" Stearman aircraft. The American Airlines captain does this as a sideline. Her family is also in the airshow business.

Steve Falon of Sioux Falls will be flying an aerobatic performance in a Pitts S2B Special. Loops, rolls, hammer-head and immelmann turns, Cuban eights, snap rolls, inverted flight patterns and four-point rolls are among the stunts Falon is expected to execute.

Dan Sullivan of the Anoka County Airport in Minneapolis and his wingman, Paul Woods of the Waukegan Regional Airport in Waukegan, III., will also complete some formation and aerobatic maneuvers in their L-39 aircrafts.

The airshow will be kicked off with a skydiver from the Paradise Skydiving Team of Vinton jumping with an American flag connected to him. Katie Erickson of Spencer is scheduled to sing the National Anthem as he descends to the ground.

Members of the skydiving group will also be available for tandem skydives at the airport on Saturday and Sunday.

Several static aircraft displays and a young eagles event can also be experienced next weekend at the airport.

Coinciding with the flight breakfast, members of the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 999 will be providing free rides to youth aged 7 to 17.

The rides, which will be weather-dependent, are scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. on Sunday morning.

"This is a project started several years ago, trying to get 1 million kids in the air by the anniversary date of the first flight, which is actually this past December 17," explained Gayle Brandt, director of airport services. "They were able to reach that goal; they did get 1 million kids in the air. But, they've decided to continue the project and continue to introduce aviation to the youths in our country."

The approximately 20- minute flight will offer children a tour over Spencer up to the south end of Lake Okoboji. Over 175 youth took advantage of the free flights last year.

Tim Steffen, Bill Hemme, Paul Veit and J.T. Dean of Spencer, along with Kenny DeYoung of Laurens and Carrie Gaul of Spirit Lake are among the area pilots who have already confirmed use of their airplanes.

According to Steffen, some additional pilots may also be participating in this 'year's young eagles' event.

Among the restored aircraft to reserve a spot during the Flagfest weekend activities at the airport are a twin-engine Grumman Mohawk, a World War II P-51 Mustang fighter airplane, a Cessna Bird Dog used extensively in Korea and Vietnam as an observation plane, a Bamboo Bomber warbird, a Stinson, a Russian Yak fighter aircraft and a T-34 Mentor military trainer.

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