Twenty youngsters had a chance to fly in both a helicopter and a general aviation fixed wing aircraft at the Leesburg International Airport on Saturday December 8, 2018.
The Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 534 held a Young Eagles flying event at the airport for these young people.
On this day five fixed wing aircraft and one helicopter were provided by EAA volunteer pilots. Hans-Gunter Vosseler, a Chapter 534 pilot, brought his large Eurocopter and was able to fly five kids at a time. In between helicopter flights each child also flew in a single engine general aviation fixed wing aircraft.
The Young Eagles Flight program is designed to give young people an opportunity to fly in a general aviation aircraft with the hope that this exposure will spark an interest in aviation so when they come of age, they will seek out careers in aviation and/or go on to earn a private pilot’s license.
On a national basis, EAA has been offering this free flight program for kids for twenty-five years and have flown over two million children. The program is open to kids ages 8 to 17.
Upon completion of their flights each student receives an EAA Flight Commemoration Certificate, and a flight log book signed by their EAA pilot. In addition, each person receives a free on-line “Learn to Fly Course” that will help them prepare for a Federal Aviation Administration written exam if they wish to go on to secure a private pilot’s license.
Chapter 534 provided 6 volunteer pilots and their personal aircraft as well as nine additional chapter volunteers helping with the paperwork and escorting kids safely to and from airplanes.
Kids were also treated to a tour by the crew of a medical air care helicopter belonging to Orlando Health. This aircraft is based at the Leesburg International Airport and is on standby for medical emergencies on a 24 – 7 basis.
If you would like more information about EAA Chapter 534 or the Young Eagles Flight program go to the following web sites:
www.youngeagles.org/join or www.eaachapter534.org
Story and photos by Ted Luebbers