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.
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.
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.
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.
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!