By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A tiny Minnesota town could see its population double next weekend, as Hector will host its 77th Flight breakfast, which is put on by the Lions Club.

More than 1,000 people are expected to show for the longest-running flight breakfast in Minnesota, and pilots come from other states to be a part of it.

The fly-in began in 1940, but due to World War II, the breakfast part of this event didn’t take off until 1943. Any given year, up to 200 warbirds, single engine planes, helicopters and even powered parachutes can drop in.

“I flew them in flight school. My buddy here, in 1969, might have even flown this one. It was at the same duty station we were at, at the time,” Dave Schmitz, a Vietnam veteran, said.

Last year, Schmitz flew his Huey helicopter to the breakfast from Wisconsin. Damaged during the Vietnam War and later restored, it’s one of the oldest in the world.

“We found it and decided to do something foolish and bought it in 2015,” said Schmitz. “We fly an awful lot of veterans around the moving walls and so forth, they’ve been calling us. We stay pretty busy.”

(credit: CBS)

Schmitz is just one example of the generosity that touches down in Hector. This year, all the proceeds from the breakfast will be donated to a young woman fighting cancer for the fourth time.

The breakfast will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on September 15 at the municipal airport.

There will also be prizes for kids.

For more information, you can check out the Hector, Minnesota Facebook page and the Hector Lions Club Facebook page.

John Lauritsen