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Young Eagles take flight over Linn
For over five hours, volunteer pilots gave 38 free flights to young people at the airport fly-in sponsored by the State Technical College of Missouri (STC) Aviation Club on Saturday.
Spectators view an agricultural aircraft on display at the STC Aviation Club Fly-In on Saturday.
According to John Bergthold, STC Aviation Maintenance Instructor and STC Aviation Club Sponsor, a total of 182 people, Young Eagles and adults, took flights on Saturday. “We had 178 take offs and landings throughout the day,” said Bergthold. “It’s great to see so many people interested in aviation.”
Logan Peters, 9, of Linn was one of the first Young Eagles to take a flight on Saturday morning. When asked by Young Eagle coordinator Blake Lewis who wanted to fly the plane, Peters was the first to raise his hand. “It was really fun driving the plane,” said Peters.
Young Eagles Derek, Caleb and Logan Peters complete a walk around preflight inspection with EAA Young Eagle Coordinator, Blake Lewis.
The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) launched the Young Eagles program in 1992 to give interested young people, ages 8-17, an opportunity to fly.
Lewis, who has been the local coordinator of the EAA Young Eagle’s program for three years, enjoys introducing young people to aviation.
Lewis and other volunteer pilots at the fly-in, explained to young people what would happen during the flight, completed a careful walk around preflight inspection of the airplane, and explained the interior of the plane, including the instrument panel, before taxiing down the runway and into the sky.
The Young Eagle flights lasted between 15 and 20 minutes and participants received an official Young Eagles certificate signed by the pilot.
Lewis and other pilots all agree they could give flights to kids all day, every day. I love seeing the excitement on their faces,” said Lewis. “This isn’t my day job, but I sure wish it was.”
Over 28 pilots and close to 300 spectators from across Missouri attended the fly-in supported by the EAA Chapter 429, Civil Air Patrol and Jefferson City Flying Service.
Tom and Shelly Klebba , Linn, watch with their children as an aircraft lands at the airport.
Jefferson City Flying Service also provided 15 minute rides for a minimal fee on Saturday. “Pilots were here until 5:30 giving flights to people,” said Mel Williams, STC Aviation Maintenance Department Chair.
With more than 25 programs, State Technical College of Missouri is Missouri’s only public two-year technical college with a statewide mission. STC has campuses in Linn, Mexico and Jefferson City. STC prepares students for profitable employment and a life of learning.
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