Last Saturday was our last day to spend with Roy and Kathie (Linda's brother and sister-in-law). Roy owns an airplane and his flying club had a Young Eagles event planned for that day so we got to go and check it out. We've heard him talk about this event for many years but have never gotten to experience it. Jim, Linda's nephew was also there so we got to spend some great time with him.
EAA's (Experimental Aircraft Association) Young Eagle program celebrated it's 20th anniversary this year. Over 1.7 million young people have taken flights and experienced what it's like to fly. It's a wonderful way for kids, ages 8 - 17 to learn about flying and to actually experience it at no cost to them. Jim ran the flight simulator for the kids, under age 8. The plane has a certain weight restriction so that the kids are light enough to be able to "lift off". A leaf blower, in the simulator provides the lift and as the kids steer the plane they can turn the plane from side to side and raise and lower the plane. A water hose is attached to the plane and the kids can shoot a stream of water as they fly. They really love this part of their flight and if you look at the pictures, you'll see the band of water around the plane.
Jim talking to a young girl, with the headset, in the simulator.
Another happy aviator....
The kids get such a kick out of being able to go up in the planes and experience this. The kids wear headsets, whether in the simulator or in the real plane, so they can talk to the pilot. Roy has flown over 350 kids over the years and both he and Jim enjoy doing this. Roy, along with about seven other pilots in his flying club had their planes lined up ready to take kids as they arrived to participate. Kids learn about the aerodynamics and what actually steers the planes and when they complete their flight, they get a really cool certificate.
Roy on takeoff with another Young Eagle....
The hangar where the event was held also had several aircraft inside, including this plane with the Philly's logo on it. Not sure who it belongs to but it would seem to be someone connected with the Philly's.
We're so glad that we got to see Jim and Roy at this event, since we've heard so much about it. Was great to see all the happy children, experiencing flight for perhaps the first time. This will be a memory that these kids carry with them for a lifetime !