Young Eagles Program gives children the chance to soar

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

May 29, 2007 - Children ages 8 to 17 will have the opportunity Saturday to enjoy a ride in an airplane, thanks to the Young Eagles Program.

Sulphur Springs Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 1094, pilots donate not only their time but also their airplanes and fuel for the Young Eagles Program targeted at children who have never flown in an aircraft before.

The Young Eagles Program kicks off at 9 a.m. and will continue through noon Saturday at Sulphur Springs Airport. In the event of unfavorable weather such as high winds and rain the Young Eagles event will be canceled, with no make up day. If the weather is questionable Saturday, contact the airport at 903-885-4911 for flight information.

In order to take the approximately 20 minute ride, parents will be required to sign a permission slip and liability waiver for each child prior to the flight. Adults will not be permitted to accompany their children on the flight unless special medical circumstances exist. Children will be flown on a first come, first serve basis, so the earlier the child gets there to sign in the better the chance of a flight. Once registered, each child will be assigned a flight time.

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 become familiar with the parts of the plane and the instrument panel.

At the conclusion of their flight, each child participating will be awarded a photograph and certificate to commemorate the event.

The event is being hosted by Sulphur Springs EAA Chapter 1094, which has a membership of around 50 members. EAA is an international aviation membership association founded in 1953. More than 170,000 people belong to EAA, which 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 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 1.25 million Young Eagles have been registered on the flight list to date.

For more information about EAA can be found at www.eaa.org, and about Young Eagles Program at www.youngeagles.org. For more information about Saturday’s Young Eagles event contact the airport, 903-885-4911.

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