Dozens of planes buzzed over Spurwink Farm on Sunday morning as aviation enthusiasts sat down for a pancake breakfast and observed the multicolored aircraft parked out in the grassy fields.

The Cape Elizabeth family farm has been a pilgrimage site for the aviation community for nearly three decades. The Sprague family opens its land each year for the annual Spurwink Farm International Fly-in and welcomes planes from all over, many of which are home-built.

Raphael, 2, points to an incoming aircraft while he and his father, Marc LeBeau, of Montreal, watch aircrafts at Spurwink Farm in Cape Elizabeth, hosted by the Downeast Chapter 141 of the Experimental Aircraft Association, on Sunday. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Jim Crawford parked his yellow Aviat Husky plane on the far end of the field and sat in a folding chair to watch the aviators whizz past. He said others recognize him simply as the “yellow Husky.”

“This is a great fly-in, one of the best, that’s why it gets pretty good attendance,” Crawford said.

Jerome Bosch of Massachusetts came to show off his RV-12, a two-seat kit plane. Originally from South Africa, Bosch has been flying since the ’60s.

“I like this kind of thing, because it’s backcountry where I used to fly in South Africa,” Bosch said.


The event is put on by the Limington chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association, an organization founded in 1953 that brings together people interested in building their own planes – from restored antiques and warbirds to modern helicopters and custom aircraft.

Spectators watch from the field as an aircraft flies in during the Fly-in at Spurwink Farm in Cape Elizabeth on Sunday. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

“(The EAA) was started years ago to allow people to build or design their own airplanes and to have a little bit of regulatory freedom to do it themselves,” said Bob Collins, EAA chapter vice president.

Sunday’s event and breakfast – the 27th of its kind – raised money for the EAA, which Collins said is important because it “takes us through the whole year financially.”

“It’s really become a community thing,” Collins said. “Originally, it was just pilots; we’d have 20 to 30 planes. We’ve had as many as 75 planes in here and hundreds of people.”

Part of that community is Maria Harrison-Dooley, of Cumberland Foreside, founder of You Fly Gal, an organization that gives out scholarships to women and girls interested in flight school. Harrison-Dooley said she earned her pilot’s license at the age of 68 because it was “on my bucket list.”

“We come every year, and we look at all these different planes, and I’m just amazed,” Harrison-Dooley said about Sunday’s fly-in.

Greg Jolda, a pilot and the aviation program coordinator at the University of Maine, also looked at the planes. Jolda wasn’t in the cockpit Sunday but came to watch the planes at Spurwink, which he’s done for several years.

“As long as there is life on Earth, people will be watching airplanes,” Jolda said.

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