MOUNT VERNON — The National Waco Club broke its record of the number of vintage biplanes ever attending a club fly-in event during this week’s 50th Waco Reunion at Wynkoop Airport on Ohio 661. The reunion has been held at the airport for 20 years.
More than 170 pilots and enthusiasts from all over the United States who attended the weeklong reunion enjoyed soaring through what they termed unusually fine weather in and around Mount Vernon, Knox County and Central Ohio. Organizers logged 52 planes at the event, setting the old record of 43 off on a loop-the-loop.
Wynkoop Airport owner Brian Wynkoop called the event “fantastic,” and said he was having a great time.
“They’re very nice people and they put a huge amount of money and time into their hobby of these old planes,” he said.
Gwen Hartz said she enjoyed listening to the distinctive drone of Wacos flying over Mount Vernon all week.
“It was neat to see them fly over all day and then go to see them,” she said.
She took her twin sons, Caleb and Levi, 5, along; all were first-time visitors to the event.
“We went to show the kids. And they loved it. Levi, when one of the planes took off, was jumping up and down. He was ecstatic to watch the take-off.”
Doug Parsons of Carrollton, who organizes the reunions, said attendance was even better for some of the members-only reunion events. At Thursday evening’s dinner and big-band music dance, 330 meals were served to members and their guests
“And at Saturday night’s awards banquet at the Knox County Career Center, even though many of the pilots had already headed home for one reason or another, we served 230 meals,” he said.
“It went exceptionally well,” said Parsons, “for such a large crowd and so many airplanes. There were so many first-timers [those flying to the event for the first time], 10 to 12 first-time airplanes ... to have that many newcomers is just great.”
By Sunday night, Parsons, his family and a few remaining volunteers had done their annual post-reunion cleanup of the airport, grounds and field, their final chore before heading home to Carrollton to rest.
“Our goal is to leave the airport better than we found it. You’d never know a reunion had been here,” Parsons said.