Forest Lake Fly-In flourishes under welcome cloud cover

EAA Chapter 237 Adopt an Airport policy draws area residents out for a delightful day


C.M. Swanson

Long time EAA Chapter 237 member Rick Ashbach, and very willing passenger Hunter Crotty (8) ready to board the 1995 American Champion Scout for one of the 146 rides given to youngsters at the Forest Lake Fly-In.

Cloud cover was welcome on the hot, sultry morning of August 15 at the Forest Lake Fly-In. Breakfast was followed by skydiving demonstration by Sky Dive Twin Cities, Forest Lake who also furnished the hanger space for meals. EAA Chapter 237 served over 200 breakfasts to attendees, in addition to the 56 breakfasts they gave pilots, sponsors, and crew members.

Chapter 237 president, Bob Heavirland attributes the success of the day to team work under the "adopt an airport" policy promoted by chapter member and president of the Minnesota Pilots Association, Randy Corfman.

C.M. Swanson

The Forest Lake based 1942 Meyers-OTW is the perfect backdrop for a family photo. Greg Janitschke of Forest Lake stands with daughter Tamara Wicks of Blaine, wife Sharie, and grandkids Isaac Wicks (7), Alex Wicks (6), Ella Janitschke (4) and Beverly Janitschke (2).

"We reach out to people in different communities this way," said Heavirland. "Some communities don't have enough pilots to have their own chapter but by partnering with them, it works out."

Based at Anoka Airport, EAA Chapter 237 has "adopted" Cambridge, Forest Lake, and Princeton airports.

Kiddie pedal planes in a roped off area accented by an antique telephone booth and gas pump display were busy the entire day.

Heavirland said lunch was arranged by the Forest Lake Lion's Club which helped extend the time of the event into the afternoon.

The Young Eagles program gave approximately 150 rides to youth between 8-17 years of age during the event. Those pilots donate their time, maintenance on their airplanes, and gas. EAA member Rick Ashbach gave a fair number of those rides.

"To me, it's reliving the day I had my first flight when I was 13 years old," said Ashbach. "I remember that day so clearly. I want to share that experience by giving others a ride. It's a whole new world when you lift off the ground."


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