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Kids Take Flight

Feb 27, 2017 01:04PM ● By Elena Hutslar

EAA Young Eagles - Kids Take Flight

If you’ve ever wondered what your neighborhood looks like from the sky, are curious how airplanes work, or even dreamed about being a pilot, why not take a free Young Eagles flight and see what real pilots do on the ground and in the air?

Since 1992, more than 2 million Young Eagles between the ages of 8 and 17 have enjoyed a free flight from Experimental Aircraft Association’s (EAA) network of volunteer pilots. EAA is an international aviation membership association founded in 1953. For many kids it is the start of their journey to a variety of career possibilities in aviation. For 14 years, Local Chapter 393 in Concord has flown over 3,000 kids and is offering the next Young Eagles program beginning on Saturday, April 15. The program continues on the third Saturday of every month through September (except July, when as many as 10,000 planes fly into Oshkosh for the annual air show.) The events are often fully booked with 80 to 90 flights per day. Most aircrafts carry one to three passengers, and flights take place in a wide variety of aircraft types and sizes.

So what will a Young Eagle experience look like? Each flight lasts 20 to 45 minutes, and kids will see the earth and sky in a new and exciting way. On the ground, the pilot will explain what will happen during the flight. Kids may talk about the airplane, review an aeronautical chart (or map), and complete a careful “walk-around” pre-flight inspection of the airplane. Before takeoff, the pilot will explain the interior of the airplane, including the operation of the aircraft door, safety belts, and instrument panel. In the air, the pilot may even let a Young Eagle take the controls! Parents are given the chance to meet with their child’s pilot before the flight and to accompany their child onto the ramp while boarding the airplane.

The pilots participating in the Young Eagles program are local members of the EAA who volunteer their time and aircraft to make these flights possible. The FAA licenses each pilot and the government licenses all aircraft. Registration begins at 8:30am on a first come, first served basis, with the last flights at 12pm.

Young Eagles is located at 200 Sally Ride Drive, off of Buchanan Field Road, in Concord.

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