EAA Chapter 534 Young Eagles Coordinator and pilot (center) explains why it is necessary to check the fuel before flying to Young Eagles Stephane Stoff and Julia Lininger. Story and photos by Ted Luebbers.
Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 534 based at the Leesburg International Airport flew a group of kids in private airplanes on Saturday March 24, 2018.
On a nice blue-sky day with very little wind 13 children showed up at the EAA Chapter 534 hangar along with their parents and friends with eager anticipation about their chance to fly in a single engine general aviation aircraft.
Chapter 534 provided 6 fixed wing aircraft and volunteer pilots and six other members to help with the paper work, answer questions and escort Young Eagles and family members to and from the ramp.
On a national basis EAA has been flying kids for over twenty-five years and now has introduced more than two million of them them to the magic of flight. They do this with the hope that when young people experience flying for the first time they will consider becoming private pilots later in their lives.
Currently there is a national shortage of pilots of all types due to ageing out and facing retirement. As time goes on there will be a growing need for pilots, aviation mechanics and people in other aviation support roles.
Upon completion of each Young Eagle flight the youngsters are given a certificate signed by their EAA pilot to commemorate the event, as well as a log book. They are also provided, at no charge, an opportunity to sign up for an on-line education program to help them prepare for the written pilot exam.
As the kids return from their Young Eagle flights there are comments like,” that was fun” and “awesome”. These statements are usually accompanied by a smile from ear to ear.
If you would like to find out more about EAA Chapter 534 or the Young Eagles program you may go to the following web sites.
www.eaachapter534.org or www.youngeagles.org/join