September 2, 2014

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Young Eagles take to the sky Print E-mail

Pictured from left, Dan Bell, pilot and member of the Gene Snyder Airport Board, poses with Tyler Justice in front of one of the planes used for the Young Eagles program. Members of the youth in the community had the opportunity to take a free plane ride and fly over parts of Pendleton County. Photo by Jackie Vaughn.

By Jackie Vaughn, Reporter

Forty Young Eagles participants and a handful of adults took to the sky for a plane ride at Gene Snyder Airport on Saturday, June 16.

The Young Eagles program was launched in 1992 by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) to give interested young people an opportunity to go flying in a general aviation airplane. These flights are offered free of charge and are made possible through EAA member volunteers.

Youth from Blanket Creek Baptist Church and the Falmouth community took advantage of the opportunity to take flight over the county.

There were four planes available for flying including a Piper Aztec, two Cessna 172s, and an Aeronca Champ.

The kids took a fifteen minute trip that provided them with a view at 2,000 feet over Falmouth, Kincaid Lake and Butler.

After the ride, they received a log book, certificate, discounts on flying gear, and their picture taken with the pilot.

"It was a great turnout," said Joe Hall, pastor at Blanket Creek. "Everybody had a blast. And it really tied in with our Vacation Bible School, 'Wonders in Aviation.' Thank God for putting Shirley McClanahan (VBS director) and Dan Bell together. I just want to thank everybody who was involved. This is a great opportunity for the kids to take a ride in a plane and see God's view from above."

Dan Bell, chairman on the Gene Snyder Airport Board and one of the four pilots to take people up in the air is heavily involved with the Young Eagles program and would like to see this become an annual event.

"We've been trying for years to get it going here," said Bell. "Our goal is to get some exposure, involve the youth in aviation, develop future pilots, and have people who can get together and share their love of flying."

Bell continued, "Everyone had a great time today. The kids came off the planes with big smiles on their faces. It was a huge success."

The Experimental Aviation Association would like to thank Regina Craft, field representative for the Young Eagles, Gene Snyder Airport Board, Young Eagles Program, pilot Dan Bell, pilots Kim and Randy Wolfe, pilot Danny Stockdale, pilot Bobby Craft, Matt Bell, Jim Wilson, Matt Bezee, Mr. and Mrs. Ted Daniels, Jim Reis, Hunter Smith, Flo Lambert, Joe Hall, Shirley McClanahan and Eastern Aviation.