Volunteer Corner: Charlie White | SierraSun.com

Volunteer Corner: Charlie White

Amy Edgett/Sierra SunCharles "Charlie" White
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What is your title with the Experimental Aircraft Association?I am the Young Eagle Coordinator.Describe your duties.I am in charge of the Young Eagles program, which allows children ages 8-17 to take local flights. They learn what aviation can do. I also organize the Free Flying Friday Flicks. They are shown the first Friday of each month at the Truckee-Tahoe Airport.How many children use the program?Our goal was 65 per year, and we flew 118 kids this year. Usually it ranges from 60 to 80 kids. Some are returnees. But it is not a free ride to do every week. Our purpose is to introduce children to aviation. Take them up and show them they can be a pilot if they want they can check out all aspects of aviation as a career path.How do the fliers react?Generally speaking, theyre thrilled; more so than the parents, who didnt get to go. Well start the program again in April, along with the pancake breakfast, on the second Saturday of each month. The breakfast we ask for a $5 donation. The flight is free to children, and they get a packet of aviation information, and come away with knowledge about piloting and flying.When did you get involved?This is my fifth year. There are programs nationwide. International Young Eagles began in 1993.Do you have a background in aviation?I started taking lessons here (Truckee Tahoe Airport) in 65, and got my license here. I was the Deputy Commander for the Civil Air Patrol Cadet program for about three years. And I am a member of the Civil Air Patrol; officially I am a First Lieutenant. My plane, a 1957 Piper Apache with Geronimo modification, is being worked on now. Its a twin engine, and will have 400 horsepower two engines at 200 hp each.Do you love your plane?You bet. We just put tons of money into it, hopefully for the last time.Does the plane have a name?Yes. Maytag. My friend and I were looking for a plane and found one advertised in Reno. It had flat tires, dust all over, but it was a good price for a twin. We had a local pilot check it out, and there was so little wrong with it, we named it after the Maytag slogan.Whats the best thing about flying?Getting into the air, getting someplace quicker.And whats the best thing about taking children up?Seeing the kids smiles getting off the plane. One time a child got off and even hugged the pilot who took him up.The Sierra Suns Amy Edgett interviewed Charlie White for this weeks Volunteer Corner. Please send your suggestions to aedgett@sierrasun.com, subject Volunteer Corner. For volunteer opportunities in the North Tahoe Truckee area, visit http://www.handsontahoe.com.