Since 1992 the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) has been giving youth a chance to get interested and involved in flight, such as during Plains Day on Saturday, June 1 at the Plains airport.
The Young Eagles program was launched with the intention of introducing children from 8 to 17 to volunteer pilots who take them into the skies to experience flight in a small aircraft. The pilots explain the parts of the aircraft, how to use and read various gauges and equipment within the plane and spend about 15 to 30 minutes in the air with the Young Eagles. Each of the pilots are volunteers, using their own personal aircraft to give the kids this experience. They are also nationally certified through the EAA. Best of all this entire experience is free.
Once the children are brought down, out of the sky, their name gets enshrined into a national registry, along with over 2 million other names, that they can see on the website. Along with this each participant receives their own logbook featuring their very first flight. After this they can participate further with the program, some of them even pursuing careers in aviation. According to one of the pilots, “This experience can change the entire life of a kid.” says Dan Normandeau. As the plane takes to the air the kids’ eyes light up and enjoyment fills the cockpit. When asked Caleb Lakko and Pepper Lulack, both on Young Eagles flight 4709D, piloted by John McCrorie, were silent throughout most of the duration their flight, and with wild excitement said that they would surely go up again if given another chance.