Great Time at the MAAC Grassroots Open House

The 2015 Midwest Antique Airplane Club’s “Grassroots” fly-in was one of the best in recent memory. While an official count is not available, estimates of 250 airplanes in attendance were common, including six of the Kelch Aviation Museum aircraft and another five owned by museum directors. The display area in front of our new hangar looked great with a lot of “eye candy” from the Golden Age of Aviation.

The Kelch Museum's 1936 Russell Lightplane, Bill Liimatainen's Pietenpol Sky Scout and the museum's 1933 Texas Eaglet.

The Kelch Museum’s 1936 Russell Lightplane, Bill Liimatainen’s Pietenpol Sky Scout and the museum’s 1933 Texas Eaglet.

Our Friday night Open House was well attended too, with a steady stream of foot traffic after the evening fish boil dinner put on by EAA Chapter 431. We went through seven gallons of ice cream and folks were very generous in the tip bucket, all of which goes directly to our new building fund. And Saturday was twice as busy! Gypsy Air Tours set up on our front lawn and provided great background noise with their 1930 Waco Tapering giving rides. Our own 1932 Curtiss-Wright Travel Air 12W gave rides to museum donors with Greg Heckman logging several trouble-free hours in the old bird as PIC.

Pilot Greg Heckman giving another donor ride in the 12W.

Pilot Greg Heckman giving another donor ride in the 12W.

Kent McMakin's 1929 Butler Blackhawk and Bill Liimatainen's Fleet model 7. Both men are Kelch Museum directors.

Kent McMakin’s 1929 Butler Blackhawk and Bill Liimatainen’s Fleet model 7. Both guys are Kelch Museum directors.

The west ramp at the new Kelch Museum Property during MAAC Grassroots 2015.

The west ramp at the new Kelch Museum Property during MAAC Grassroots 2015.

EAA’ Vintage Airplane Magazine sent their Cessna 210 photo plane down Saturday morning and conducted an air-to-air session with our Curtiss-Wright Travel Air 12W. The “CW” will be featured in the magazine sometime this coming winter.

EAA photographer Jason Toney doing a ground photo shoot of the Kelch Museum's Travel Air 12W. A 90-minute air-to-air photo shoot was conducted later in the morning.

EAA photographer Jason Toney doing a ground photo shoot of the Kelch Museum’s Travel Air 12W. A 90-minute air-to-air photo shoot was conducted later in the morning.

Saturday afternoon, we staged a photo shoot of our own when we realized that there were six aircraft in attendance at the fly-in that were all restored by museum director Kent McMakin. From left to right, Eric Berens’ 1929 Travel Air 2000, Terry Bryn’s 1928 Travel Air 4000, Jim Hicks’ 1929 Waco GXE. Back row, Kelch Museum’s 1928 Stearman C3B, Mike Williams’ 1928 Stearman C3B, and Kent’s own 1929 Butler Blackhawk, which was owned by his father Don during WWII.

Six Aircraft Restorations by Kelch Museum director Kent McMakin were in attendance at the MAAC Grassroots fly-in. They are displayed here on the new museum property.

Six Aircraft Restorations by Kelch Museum director Kent McMakin were in attendance at the MAAC Grassroots fly-in.

A big Thank You to everybody who stopped by and checked our new property and the new building display. Lots of people asked lots of questions about our future plans and I hope we answered them all.

As reaffirmed at the annual meeting of the Kelch Aviation Museum board of directors and the trustees of the Kelch Charitable Trust on Saturday morning, our plan is to construct a new museum building on the new property as soon as funds allow. As the summer flying season slowly draws to a close, we will be concentrating full-time on fund raising and will provide details and progress reports here. Check back soon!

 

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