EAA Chapter 288 President
Alan Norris shows Garrett
Cushman, 8, his Varga
Kachina during the rally in
New Smyrna Beach.
It contacts the Boys and Girls clubs and gives underprivileged kids,
who otherwise would have no other access, the ability to experience
flight. Here, more than at any other Young Eagles rally I have
attended, the kids I flew were getting their first flight in any airplane
large or small.
As in St. Charles, the lure of hot dogs proved irresistible to the
Young Eagles candidates. The grill never cooled as the kids were carried aloft by the 10 Young Eagles pilots present. By afternoon, the
stream of Young Eagles turned to a trickle, the last of the hot dogs
were being shunted around the grill to keep them from burning, and
it became time for us to think about moving on.
Once again this traveling show took to the skies for our next stop:
Jim Hamilton L.B. Owens Airport near Columbia, South Carolina,
and EAA Chapter 242. The flight there would be more of a challenge,
because I had now picked up a Cessna 180 for a chase plane. Up to
9,500 feet again, where an even more substantial tail wind pushed us
at 160 knots over the ground. An impressive show, but I couldn’t
compete with raw horsepower. I saw the 180 go by as we crossed the
EAA 242 proudly boasts of having flown 8,872 Young Eagles, to
date. The current leadership of Tom Roberts as chapter president
and Ron Shelton, Young Eagles coordinator, continues the chapter
tradition. They have Young Eagles rallies scheduled 12 months of
At this day’s rally, the ramp was graced with the presence of a
B- 25 that was fished out of the big lake across town. The Columbia
Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol stood watch over the
relic of a training accident long past. This B- 25 spent 39 years underwater. The ravages of water and time have made sure it would never
take to the skies again, but it did make a stunning backdrop to the
rally. The kids kept coming in a steady flow, and I was able to fly five
YOU CAN FLY YOUNG EAGLES, TOO!
Since EAA’s Young Eagles program was
launched in 1992, more than 42,000 pilots
have introduced more than 1. 6 million young
people to the world of flight.
All EAA members with a current sport pilot
or higher certificate are eligible to provide
Young Eagles flights to youth ages 8-17, and
you can do the flights individually or as part
of a rally.
Speaking of rallies, a worldwide rally
of sorts will take place on June 11, 2011, as
we celebrate International Young Eagles
Day—a day set aside solely for the purpose of
getting young people in a small airplane to
experience the thrill of general aviation.
For more details on becoming a Young
Eagles pilot and how you can participate
in International Young Eagles Day, visit