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Local EAA Aviation Youth Group Takes Flight for Lunch Adventure

Posted on Friday, September 7, 2018 at 2:51 pm

Pictured (L to R) John Weber, EAA Chapter 534 Aviation Youth Program director makes sure Mateo Colmenero is tightly strapped in for the flight. Since John is a certified light sport flight instructor he is used to having his students in the left-hand seat “pilot in command”.

Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 534 Aviation Youth members and some of their parents flew away on private general aviation aircraft for lunch at the Pyper Kub Café at the Williston Florida Airport on September 1, 2018.

They gathered Saturday morning at the EAA Chapter 534 hangar at the Leesburg International Airport at Leesburg, Florida to get their final instructions about the flight. Chapter pilots also got their flight instructions from Joel Hargis, Young Eagles Coordinator, and John Weber chapter vice president and director of the Aviation Youth Program.

The Aviation Youth program wanted to add a little spice to the program as a reward for all the hard work the kids have put forth this summer learning how to repair real airplanes. They were not charged for the lunch or the flight. Who says there is no free lunch!

Currently they have been working diligently on a light sport Mini Max aircraft that had been damaged at another airport during a tornado. The owner decided to donate the bruised plane to EAA Chapter 534 for use with their Aviation Youth Program. When this plane has been restored to flight status the chapter has several other aircraft kits that have been donated for the young people to work on.

The work the kids do on the airplanes is overseen by chapter members who have built experimental aircraft themselves. Some of the volunteer members are also certified aircraft mechanics, private general aviation pilots and one is a certified flight instructor.

On an ordinary Saturday these young folks would be working in the hangar on the Mini Max or utilizing the new flight simulator that is set up for their use. Flights of this type from time to time stimulate their enthusiasm to continue to learn all they can about aviation.

Since our country is suffering from a pilot shortage now and in the near future, it is hoped that this aviation exposure will stimulate their interest to seek out aviation careers and /or private pilot licenses when older.

For Saturday’s lunch flight there were 11 Aviation Youth members, 6 family members and EAA volunteers. The chapter provided 9 fixed wing single engine aircraft and volunteer pilots.

Take off time was at 10:30 AM and all had returned safely to Leesburg International Airport by 2:00 PM after a hearty lunch.

If you would like to find out more about EAA Chapter 534 and their Aviation Youth Program you may contact John Weber at < ransfly@aol.com >. To find out more about EAA Chapter 534 or the national Experimental Aircraft Association you may go to the following web sites.

< www.eaachapter534 > and < www.eaa.org