Young Eagles Day promotes passion for aviation in children
Left to right, Cleon Quear took his granddaughters, Sarah and Macy Sampson, to the Young Eagles Day at the Morristown Regional Airport Saturday. Pilot Tim McGinnis was among several pilots that took 26 area kids on individual flights throughout the morning.
A child burst through the doors at the Morristown Regional Airport, threw his arms in the air and exclaimed, “Awesome,” after coming back from his first airplane ride thanks to Young Eagles Day.
Young Eagles are kids with an interest in aviation and the baby birds first step out of the nest so to speak is the Young Eagles Flight, which took place Saturday for youths ages 9 to 17.
Several local pilots donated their time, and their gasoline, to fly 26 kids on individual flights over the Lakeway Area from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Karen Hughes, who helps the Morristown EAA Chapter 1494, said they get the word out by talking with teachers at area schools to find student’s interested in math, science or aviation.
“It’s all about sharing that passion to help create the next generation of aviators. Our local EAA pilots share their passion for flying… and hopefully, ignite a spark or two.”
After their initial flight, kids are given a “log book.” Following the flight, kids register and activate their EAA student membership. Young Eagles also receive an EAA Sport Aviation Magazine subscription online, e-newsletters, access to a members-only website, an Academy of Model Aeronautics Student Membership and free admission to more than 300 science and technology museums.
“A primary goal of our chapter is to bring aviation to kids and kids to aviation in ways that will have positive and lasting impact on their lives,” Hughes said. “Giving free EAA Young Eagles Flights is a wonderful way for our chapter pilots to put specific action behind that goal. It’s all about the kids. It’s all about a passion for flying.”
Paul “PD” Robertson, who is a local flight instructor, was also on hand to help with the influx of excited kids filling the airport.
“We offer flight training. You meet with an instructor and it’s a one-on-one type deal and you train at your pace,” Robertson said.
He said it typically takes between 50 and 60 hours of training to get a pilot’s license and the training hours increase depending on what type of pilot’s license a student wants to receive.
The EAA—or Experimental Aircraft Association—is a group of pilots whose planes were built anywhere other than a factory. The FAA must certify each plane before they can be utilized.
For more information or to see a calendar of local flight events visit www.1494.eaachapter.org.
-By Aletheia Davidson, Tribune Staff Writer