Boy Scouts from seven Florida troops came together at the Leesburg International Airport on April 22 to earn their Aviation Merit Badge with the help of the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 534.
The 19 Scouts came from Mount Dora, Eustis, Lady Lake, Leesburg, Fruitland Park and Cape Coral.
The course of instruction was given by EAA member Steven Barber, who has had a long career in aviation with the United States Air Force and American Airlines. As part of the Young Eagles program, each scout had the opportunity to fly in a general aviation aircraft and many of them flew the plane themselves under the watchful eye of their EAA pilot. The Scouts visited the Leesburg Airport control tower and the Fixed Base Operations at Sun Air. They also built and flew balsa gliders and foam plate gliders in a contest. Airplane model kits were awarded as prizes.
EAA volunteer pilots provided three fixed wing aircrafts and one helicopter. Other chapter volunteers provided a barbecue lunch and escorted Scouts to and from their airplanes.
To learn more about EAA Chapter 534 or the Young Eagles program, go to 534.eaachapter.org or youngeagles.org/join.