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Wed, Feb 20, 2019

Orlando, FL Scouts Work On Aviation Merit Badge With EAA Chapter 534

Young Eagles Rally Held Feb 16

The Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 534, based at Leesburg International Airport in Leesburg, FL held a Young Eagles rally on Feb.16, and they flew 27 young people in total.

Twelve members of that group were from Scout Troop 200 who drove north about forty miles from Orlando, FL, to take advantage of this opportunity. They came to satisfy one of the requirements of the Scout Aviation Merit badge: to take a flight.

There was a good mix of both male and female Young Eagles. Most of them had never flown in a single engine general aviation airplane, so it was a first flight experience for most. Chapter 534 was fortunate to have a good flying day with blue skies moderate temperature and just a little wind out of the south. The parking lot filled up fast around 9 a.m. as kids along with their parents arrived for the adventure. The children were all excited with the prospect of flying, and the parents were there to help them fill out the necessary paperwork and get assigned to an EAA pilot.

A typical Young Eagles flight can last anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes, and it is up to the pilot’s discretion where they go. Many times, if the Young Eagle lives close to the airport, they will end up flying over the home of the Young Eagle so they can get an aerial view of their house.

 Many times, the pilot will ask the young person if they would like to try flying the plane themselves. With most kids, you do not have to ask that question twice. They get some basic instructions from a skilled EAA pilot and are allowed to fly the plane under their watchful eye.

On this day EAA Chapter 534 provided nine fixed wing general aviation airplanes and volunteer pilots. These pilots fly their personal airplanes at their own expense so there is never any fee charged to anyone. The chapter also provided 12 members to do the paperwork, answer questions about the building projects going on in the hangar and escorting groups safely back and forth to the flight line.
 After landing the pilot presents an official EAA Certificate commemorating the flight and a log book signed by the pilot.  EAA will further provide a free online ground school course necessary to pass an FAA written exam for a private pilot’s license, as well as one hour of free dual flight instruction at a flight school of the Young Eagle’s choice, should they wish to continue learning to fly.
The Young Eagle program is open to young people ages 8 to 17 to expose them to the wonder of flight at an early age and the opportunities aviation offers should they wish to become private pilots or seek vocational opportunities in this industry later in life.  EAA Chapter 534 offers the Young Eagle Program once a month, September through May.

(Images provided with EAA Chapter 534 news release by Ted Luebbers. Top [L-R] Young Eagle Summer Reichl and EAA Chapter 534 pilot Judie Betz. Bottom [L-R] EAA Chapter 534 pilot Judie Betz, Addison Ciccotelli)

FMI: www.534eaachapter.org


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