Twenty young aviators took the first steps to earn their wings Monday and Tuesday.

The Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 1494 hosted 20 excited young aviators at their first Young Eagles Workshop/Day Camp at the Morristown Regional Airport last week.

“This was a trial first time for us and it filled up quickly,” said Karen Hughes-Collins, of EAA-1494. “There was a lot of interest in it. We’re thrilled that there was that much interest. Most of had had engagement with the Young Eagles program in the past.”

Hughes-Collins said that many of the kids had taken a Young Eagles flight June 19. Another fact that helped fill the class up quickly was that many of the kids were members of one of the area homeschool groups.

“They spread the word and we ended up 18 kids right off the bat,” Hughes-Collins said. “We really didn’t put it out for the community at large this time.

“The kids and volunteers had a blast.”

The Young Eagles campers, ages 8 – 16, were divided into smaller groups to engage in hands on activities that included building a wooden aircraft wing rib and working with sheet metal and rivets to construct a useable keychain. The youth also engaged in an electricity project that taught about electrical fuses and lights found on aircraft. Campers spent the two days experiencing aviation at the Morristown Airport up close and personal, including a tour of the terminal building, a flight school, a T-hangar and their all-time favorite, a tour of the TCAT Airframe and Power plant School located on the field.

In other sessions, using a runway taped to the flight school hangar floor, the students learned how pilots talk on the radio and how to fly a standard airport traffic pattern. A volunteer taught the group about pilot communications on the first day and had a lesson to fly solo in the pattern on the second day of the workshop. As flight student and Ray Scholar Neva Poling flew her Cessna 172 in the airport pattern, the campers correctly followed her using their hangar floor runway – from takeoff to crosswind, to downwind, base and final, identifying each radio call she would make.

“We were super impressed how quickly the youth learned these aviation topics,” Hughes-Collins said.

Other topics enjoyed by the campers were how to use an aviation map, or chart, and how to identify and read the different instruments in the panel of one of the flight school training aircraft.

At the end of the two-day session, campers were presented with a certificate of completion and were able to take home their completed wing rib and keychain, lots of new aviation knowledge and experience, and memories.

“We hope that all of that work together to bring them back to the airport or inspire them to engage in other great learning activities. It was a joy to host this group and our chapter is looking forward to hosting more youth aviation activities in upcoming months,” Hughes-Collins said.

For future events, check the “EAA Chapter 1494” Facebook page or call 865-274-2788.