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Pilots take flight to attend EAA Breakfast

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MASSENA — The pilots came from all around, pointing their small craft toward Massena International Airport on Sunday morning. As they landed and disembarked near a large hangar, the sounds and smells of breakfast cooking assured them they had come to the right place.

The Massena chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association held its 35th annual Fly-in/Drive-in Pancake Breakfast from 8 a.m. to noon on Sunday. Clear skies brought a large crowd, said Jim M. Parks, of Potsdam, the group’s vice president.

“People are flying their planes in from across the state,” Mr. Parks said. “This is a really good turnout compared to most.”

Pete S. Bogardus flew his Cessna Skyhawk from Hendricks Field in Gouverneur.

“We’ve been coming here for 20 years,” he said. Flying runs in his family.

“My father flew in the Navy, and my grandfather flew in World War I,” Mr. Bogardus said.

Plenty of people traveled to the fundraiser by ground, as well. Cars filled the area around the hangar.

Roxanne M. Robar, of Parishville, has been bringing her 9-year-old son, Zachary R. Robar, to the event for the past several years.

“He’s been into airplanes since he was two years old,” Ms. Robar said.

“I think they’re cool,” Zachary added.

Eggs, sausage and pancakes were on the menu. In addition, a flight instructor was offering rides in his plane for $20.

Proceeds from the breakfast will be used to repair and renovate the association’s hangar at the airport to prevent flooding, as well as to fund the Young Eagles program, Mr. Parks said. The program piques youths’ interest in flying by educating and taking them on a flight.

“They get to learn about aviation,” said Young Eagles coordinator John A. Miller, of Canton.

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