The Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 1298 held a rally for Young Eagles. The EAA Young Eagles program offers free airplane rides to children ages 7 through 17. For many this is their first airplane ride, particularly in two to six seat General Aviation planes. In addition to the rides the kids receive a logbook signed by their pilot, and vouchers for an online private pilot course from Sporty’s Pilot Shop.
Dolly and I worked with other members who arrived early to be part of the ground crew. We are members of three EAA chapters, two in Florida and one in Michigan.
Paul Bryant built his Lightning ten years ago. N82PB is registered as an AB or Amateur Built Aircraft. The Lightning cruises around 150 miles per hour.
I have no photo of Tom Longo’s aircraft. He made several flights today in N137JM his Vans RV9A, another Amateur Built Aircraft.
Five pilot members had their planes ready on the ramp and taxiways outside the EAA hangar. The pilots donate their time, aircraft and fuel to give the youngsters their first small airplane ride.
An hour before the visitors arrive the pilots hold a briefing session where they agree on flight routes and review communications and other procedures necessary for safe operations.
While they wait for their flight the visitors are invited to look around the EAA hangar and watch a video from EAA national. The photo on the right shows the fuselage of a Vans RV10 that is being built by one of the chapter members.
Many parents bring cameras to Young Eagle events to record the children’s reactions following their flight.
The Ground Crew members register the children, escort them to the aircraft and introduce them to their pilot. The pilots spend some time giving a preflight briefing and describing what to expect on the flight.