Flying high at the East Kansas Chapter Wine Festival

Posted on Jun 27, 2012 in Alumni News and News

The Alumni Association’s annual East Kansas Chapter Wine Festival again was a huge hit on Sunday. The event is held at Somerset Ridge Winery & Vineyard near Paola, which is owned by Dennis, c’81, l’84, and Cindy Reynolds, j’82.

Steve Rottinghaus, j’90, provided this write-up about a special flyover at this year’s event:

Visitors at the most popular—and growing—event for the East Kansas Chapter of the KU Alumni Association received a surprise Sunday.

Already a success because of the entertaining venue and gracious hosts, the Wine Festival added a new feature in 2012—multiple flyovers from pilots in the Beechnutz group. A twin-engine Beechcraft Baron and four single-engine Bonanzas buzzed by the event with nearly 150 KU alumni and friends of the University. After landing in nearby Paola, the pilots joined the festival and took time to savor some fine wine and pose for photos.

Come to find out that Bob “Stones” (all pilots have cool call signs) Hellebuyck, c’75, was one of the pilots. He is an air naval Vietnam veteran (P-3 Orion aircrew) and a Life Member of the KU Alumni Association. Other pilots were Jack “Carbon” Letts, Jim “Sputter” Beyers, Pete “Boom Boom” Rouse and Craig “2B” Wilcox. Ground crew members were Carl “Keys” Carlson and Bob’s wife, Rachel “Bullet” Hellebuyck. The group has been together since 2009. Bob received an invitation to the festival and asked if he could fly over the event before dropping by. Thanks, Bob. That sky-high arrival will be hard to beat.

View photos from the event above, or click here to view them on Flickr.

Tags: , , , , , ,