La Porte Report: La Porte Aero Club Takes New Heights

Pancakes with a side of aeronautics were on the breakfast menu for the annual La Porte Aero Club Pancake Breakfast. Pilots roamed around, talking about their adventures, and admiring planes that sat out for loving attention. Friends and family sat together and enjoyed homemade pancakes while socializing and admiring stories, and the zipping by of airplanes overhead, all to support the La Porte Aero CLub. All proceeds went to the Aero Club scholarship, for aspiring pilots.

Neil Straub, the breakfast club chairmen said that the breakfast has “helped raise more and more money for scholarships every year.”

Among the people, were of course the planes. For thirty dollars, anybody could ride in a plane that gave an aerial view of Stone and Pine Lake along with Historic La Porte. There was also a special visitation of the Stealth Plane.

“It’s very difficult to hear and see,” according to Merle Miller, the breakfast’s announcer. “It has come every year all the way from Georgia.”

Then there was excitment coming from Miller - he stood by the runway and pointed out something coming over the tree line. He pointed and trailed his finger so the whole crowd could see. There was a stealth plane flying overhead, which wasn't even visible. The invisible, seemingly non-existent plane was a show stopper.

Later on during the breakfast a Medical Helicopter from Beacon Health System in South Bend flew in, creating a cyclone of wind from its propellers.

Ranelle Hamilton, an ER nurse was there, representing what she does. “Most of us that work here have a background in ER care. That’s where I started, and I decided I was ready for a bigger challenge,” she explained.

When the helicopter goes out, it holds a nurse, a paramedic, and the pilot. In dire situations though, the helicopter can hold an entire medical team, ready to perform inside the flying hospital. Inside the helicopter is an organized mass of medical supplies and technology ready to help anybody who were to enter.

Another interesting feature of the breakfast was the Duneland 99s Women Pilots, an organization of women pilots. The Duneland portion covers La Porte, South Bend, and Michigan City. They raise money to give to student pilots aspiring to rule the sky.

The La Porte Aero CLub Pancake Breakfast brought people together, and gave families the excuse to go and bond over planes and pancakes. Veteran pilots gathered around and reminisced about the old days of flying. For 39 years, the pancake breakfast has brought people together for the love of pancakes and for the love of flying. Pancakes will forever have a side of aeronautics once each year for the La Porte Aero Club Pancake Breakfast.