101 Young Eagles take to the skies | SierraSun.com

101 Young Eagles take to the skies

Special to the Sun

The Truckee Chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) held a Young Eagles rally at the airport on Sunday, July 12, after having registered youngsters at the air show the previous day.

Nine pilots and 19 ground volunteers turned out for the pancake breakfast, which was followed by the safety brief before getting the kids into the air. While the pilots get most of the "glory" for the event, nothing happens without the myriad tasks that the ground crew handles, all to keep a safe operation going on the ground.

The EAA's Young Eagles program was started in 1992 with the goal of introducing 1 million kids to aviation by giving them a free airplane ride. They easily surpassed that goal and have kept the program alive, with volunteer pilots having flown over 1.9 million Young Eagles.

"Free airplane rides are just part of the Young Eagles experience," said Tom Meadows, Young Eagles Coordinator. "We hope to kindle a dream that will lead them into the aviation community."

After the Young Eagles' flights they receive certificates and logbooks, and their names go into the World's Largest Logbook in Oshkosh, Wisc.

Using their unique alphanumeric on the logbook, they receive a free EAA student membership, free access to Sporty's Pilot Shop's on-line Learn to Fly course, and have free access to other programs.

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One other special item that local Young Eagles received at this rally was a scholarship information sheet for the Truckee EAA Chapter's program to send local kids to EAA's Air Academy in Oshkosh in 2016.

In 2014, the chapter sponsored three kids, this year we sponsored two, and next year we plan to sponsor three more. Air Academy participants explore aviation through technical and learning classrooms as well as hands-on experiences from knowledgeable instructors and mentors, as well as getting Young Eagle flights in both an airplane and a helicopter.

This article was submitted by the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 1073 of Truckee Young Eagles. Visit eaa1073.org to learn more.