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700 attend breakfast at Pine Hill Airport

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 September 2013 at 12:00 am

Vintage Aircraft Group is dedicated to preserving historic planes

Photos by Tom Rivers – An airplane comes in for a landing at Pine Hill Airport today in Barre. The airport is the only one in Orleans County with a hard-surface runway.

John Keding of Albion cooks the sausage for today’s breakfast at Pine Hill Airport. Volunteers served 700 people. The airport on Pine Hill Road in Barre has been running the breakfasts for 50 years.

BARRE – Volunteers that run Pine Hill Airport and the Vintage Aircraft Group served breakfast to 700 people at the airport on Pine Hill Road this morning. The breakfast tradition dates back to 1964, when a big crowd shows up for scrambled eggs, sausage, applesauce and coffee.

About 20 dedicated volunteers keep the airport functioning. Pine Hill Airport is the only one in Orleans County with a hard-surface runway. The airport has two breakfasts for the public each year, and the fund-raiser helps pay the bills so the site can stay open to the community, said Gene Haines, VAG president and a co-owner of the airport.

Jim Kenney of Brockport, left, and David Canham of Albion look over a restored 1946 Taylorcraft BC-12D, a plane owned by Kenney’s son Darin.

The airport is the home for many vintage planes from the World War II era, including an air ambulance and smaller aircraft used for training pilots. VAG volunteers are close to restoring a Fairchild PT 19 from 1939. That plane could be ready to fly next month.

One of the VAG members, Darin Kenney of Brockport, bought a restored 1946 Taylorcraft BC-12D. That plane was built as a private plane for flying. Kenney, 45, is a flight instructor. He likes to see visitors walk into the hangar and see the old aircraft.

“I like the idea of keeping the vintage planes going from a historical aspect,” he said. “When people come up here, their eyes light up.”

Darin Kenney of Brockport stands in a hangar at Pine Hill Airport with several vintage military airplanes, including an air ambulance from 1944 at right. That plane, a Stinson L-5G, has a spot in the back to carry wounded soldiers, as long as they didn’t exceed 150 pounds.