EAA Chapter 64’s Youth Gateway to Aviation Day
EARLY LAST YEAR, EAA Chapter 64 was contacted by St. Louis
University’s Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology
to fly Young Eagles at its planned Youth Gateway to Aviation event.
Co-sponsored by St. Louis Downtown Airport and the Greater
St. Louis Air and Space Museum, along with many other groups,
the goal was to get youth interested in aviation careers. After
canceling the spring event
due to weather and logistical
problems, Youth Gateway
to Aviation Day finally took
place October 8.
St. Louis Downtown
Airport invited 300 Scouts
and their leaders to camp
on the airport grounds for
the weekend. Gene Kranz,
Apollo 13 mission director, a
Parks grad, was the keynote
speaker. Boeing brought
F- 18 flight simulators, Parks
College students provided
ground school classes and
its latest and greatest
avionics display, Wicks Aircraft Supply
sponsored a “build a model airplane”
seminar, and much more.
EAA Chapter 64, based at St. Louis
Downtown Airport, accepted the
challenge of flying Young Eagles but
quickly realized that the chapter did
not have the resources to fly 200-300
Young Eagles. A call was made to all EAA
chapters in a 70-mile radius inviting pilots
to participate as a combined chapter
event. In the end, 18 pilots and 20-plus
ground crew members were able to fly 285
new Young Eagles.
Participating pilots and crew were from
chapters 64, 32, 864, 1387, and 1155, and
EAA President/CEO Rod Hightower flew
the first mission of the day in his AT- 6.
“This event was more than about just
flying Young Eagles,” said Larry Frey,
Chapter 64 Young Eagles coordinator.
“Rather, it was a full education program
centered around getting kids to think
about aviation as a career.”