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Young Eagles Take to the Sky At Leesburg International Airport

Twenty-One Young People Get First Aviation Experience At Central FL Airport

The Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 534 based at the Leesburg International Airport at Leesburg, Florida hosted a group of kids for the Young Eagles Flight Program on Saturday, November 11, 2017.

Everyone met at the EAA Hangar at the airport at 9 a.m. for a briefing by Joel Hargis, the chapter’s Young Eagle Coordinator. It was a beautiful morning to fly with nary a cloud in the sky. On this day Chapter 534 provided four fixed wing aircraft, one helicopter and five pilots. There were nine other chapter members doing the paperwork and escorting people back and forth safely to the ramp.

EAA chapter 534 flew 21 Young Eagle kids and two adult Eagles.  Nine of the kids were Boy Scouts from Troop 734 in Plant City, Florida.

The Young Eagles filled out their paperwork and were assigned to an EAA pilot and an aircraft. They were then escorted out to the airplane they would fly in and their pilots showed them how to do a pre-flight. During the pre-flight check they would also learn some of the basic aerodynamics of what makes an airplane fly. After the pre-flight each Young Eagle was shown how to enter the plane and told how to fasten their seatbelts.

Over the last 25 years the Young Eagle Flight Program nationally has flown over two million young people. EAA’s purpose in doing this is to introduce kids at an early age to the wonders of aviation. For many of them this is the first time any have flown in a general aviation single engine airplane. It is hoped that this exposure to aviation will cause these young people to look for careers in aviation or get their private pilot’s license when they get older.

Upon completion each Young Eagle is given an official EAA certificate and logbook commemorating their flight signed by their EAA pilot. They are also given access to an online course to complete their written exam should any of them wish to become private pilots. They are given one hour of dual instruction free if they wish to pursue this interest at a flight school.

The Young Eagles Flight program is open to kids free of charge ages 8 to 17. EAA members volunteer their time and aircraft.

(Images provided with EAA Chapter 534 news release. Top: EAA Chapter 534 pilot Paul Adrien  gets ready for takeoff with Boy Scout Grady Coffey in the rear seat. Bottom: EAA Chapter 534 member Steve Tilford helps load Young Eagles into the helicopter)

FMI: www.eaachapter534.org

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