Free airplane rides offered June 11 to youth ages 8-17

Free airplane rides offered June 11 to youth ages 8-17
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Gary Baker is a retired captain from United Airlines and the Young Eagles coordinator of chapter 846 of the Experimental Aircraft Association, the group sponsoring the free flights being offered at the Wayne County Airport on June 11 to youth age 8-17 as a way to introduce them to aviation.

                        

As part of International Young Eagles Day on Saturday, June 11, Gary Baker and other area pilots will volunteer their time and aircraft at Wayne County Airport to offer free airplane rides to children age 8-17 as a way of introducing young people to aviation.

“Everyone knows that flying is expensive, and flying an entire family is very expensive,” Baker said. “Many young people have never had a chance to fly in an airplane. How do they know that aviation is a career option for them if they never get to experience it?”

Baker wanted to fly since he was 8 years old. He took his first flight lesson when he was 19 and now is a retired captain from United Airlines, as well as Young Eagles coordinator of chapter 846 of the Experimental Aircraft Association, the group sponsoring the free flights.

Since the program was launched in 1992, volunteer EAA pilots have flown more than 2 million young people residing in more than 90 countries. Each pilot volunteers his or her time and aircraft so the flights can be provided free of charge to interested young people.

“Free airplane rides are just a part of Young Eagles Day,” Baker said. “We hope to build one-to-one relationships between pilots and young people, giving a new generation a chance to learn more about the possibilities that exist in the world of aviation.”

Pilots at the event also will explain more about their airplanes, allowing young people to discover how airplanes work and how pilots ensure safety as the prime concern before every flight. Following the flight, each young person will receive a certificate and a pilot’s logbook, making them an official Young Eagle. Their name will then be entered into the “World’s Largest Logbook,” which is on permanent display at the EAA Air Adventure Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The Logbook also is accessible at www.youngeagles.org.

Young people must register in advance at www.tinyurl.com/YEDay3614, and a parent or guardian must be present. Families can come to the Wayne County Airport, 6020 N. Honeytown Road, Smithville, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on June 11. All kids will attend a short ground school followed by a 20-minute flight.

More information can be found at https://chapters.eaa.org/eaa846/young-eagles.


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