�Young Eagles� will take to the sky Saturday
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Members of the local Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 1094 will be taking youths between the ages of 8 and 17 up, up and away at Saturday’s Young Eagles Flight Rally.

File Photo

Oct. 19, 2006 - On Saturday, youths ages 8 to 17 will be flying high in the sky in one of eight aircraft from Sulphur Springs Municipal Airport.

Of course, they won’t be flying the planes, which will be piloted by experienced, insured pilots.

Any youth between those ages with an interest in aviation is encouraged to attend the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 1094's Young Eagles Flight Rally.

"This is a real worthwhile project. This is designed to get young people interested in flying," said Jerry Voss, one of the EAA members participating in Saturday's rally and a B-737 captain, check airman, APA National Aeromedical vice chairman, and Checkmate chairman for American Airlines.

"Free airplane rides are just part of the Flight Rally," said another spokesman for the event. "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 will also explain about the eight airplanes, familiarizing their young charges with the inner workings and the safety measures taken by pilots.

Youths ages 8-17 should report to the Sulphur Springs Municipal Airport terminal at 8 a.m., along with a parent or legal guardian, who will be required to sign a release permitting them to fly with a qualified, insured pilot. Once registered, children will be assigned a flight time. 

Flights will follow a predetermined route, and EAA event organizers anticipate being able to take up about 25 children an hour for a total of about 100 youths before the noon hour. Each kid will be in the air between 15 and 20 minutes, following the designated flight route per plane. Each plane will be an FAA registered airplane flown by a licensed pilot. No aerobatics or non-standard maneuvers will be performed.

Each participant will learn about the airplane, review aeronautical charts identifying reference points they will see during the flight, observe a "walk around" preflight inspection of the airplane, as well as becoming familiar with the parts of the plane and the instrument panel.

At the conclusion of the Young Eagles Rally, each youth will receive a certificate making them an official Young Eagle. Their name will also be entered into the "World's Largest Logbook," which is on permanent display at the EAA Air Adventure Museum in Oshkosh, Wis., or can be accessed online.

The participants will also receive additional information on other aviation organizations, activities and scholarship programs administered by EAA.

Youths planning to participate are asked to send and e-mail to lchristian@ssisd.net notifying organizers if possible, so they will have a general count for planning purposes.

The event is being hosted by area Chapter 1094 of EAA, which has a membership of around 50 people who are donating their time and aircraft so the rally can be offered free of charge.

EAA is an international aviation membership association founded in 1953. More than 170,000 people belong to EAA, with chapters in all 50 states as well as other countries. Membership consists of aviation enthusiasts of all ages, including airline and commercial pilots, engineers, business people, astronauts and even celebrities such as Harrison Ford, who serves as chairman of the Young Eagles Program.

Young Eagles Program was started in 1992 at a Fly-In Convention in Oshkosh, Wis. The initial goal of the program was to fly 1 million children for the 100th anniversary of flight in December 2003. They had reached that goal by November of 2003. Since then, EAA's goal for Young Eagles is to introduce 100,000 kids to Young Eagles each  year. More than 1.2 million Young Eagles have been registered on the flight list to date.

For more information about Saturday's rally or the local EAA, call Jerry Voss at 903-945-2921. 

More information about EAA can be found at www.eaa.org, and about the Young Eagles Program at www.youngeagles.org.

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