The Booneville Airport will be abuzz June 7 with takeoffs and landings as it hosts a Young Eagles event in which potential aviators can receive a free first flight.
Providing the flights will be local members of the Experimental Aircraft Association like Mike Wyrick, Bill Tucker and David Zarlingo.
The to-be aviators will begin with pilots explaining what will happen during the flight with a pre-flight inspection of the airplane. Just before takeoff the pilot will explain the interior of the airplane, including the operation of the aircraft door, safety belts, and instrument panel.
The flight lasts between 15 and 20 minutes, during which, the pilot may permit the Young Eagle to take control of the aircraft. Back on the ground there will be more time for questions about the flight.
Afterward the youngsters will also receive an official Young Eagles logbook with a personal code to activate a free EAA Student Membership and Sporty’s Learn to Fly Course.
To date more than 25,000 EAA Young Eagles have now enrolled in the online Sporty’s Learn to Fly course, which is provided free to Young Eagles to help them pursue aviation interests beyond their first flight.
The Sporty’s course is part of EAA’s Young Eagles Flight Plan - a five-step program to create a clear pathway to aviation.
"We’re delighted that more than 25,000 Young Eagles have now taken advantage of their free access to Sporty’s Learn to Fly Course," said Sporty’s President/CEO Michael Wolf. "We are proud our course is a key component of the EAA Young Eagles Flight Plan, which may be the most productive aviation youth program ever."
The EAA Flight Plan begins with an introductory airplane ride for Young Eagles (ages 8-17) provided by a volunteer EAA pilot in a general aviation aircraft. From there, participants have access to a free EAA Student Membership, the Sporty’s course, a free first flight lesson at a local flight school of their choice, and the ability to apply for numerous scholarship opportunities available to support continued flight training until a pilot certificate is obtained.
EAA also reimburses Young Eagles for the $150 cost of taking the FAA written exam when they pass.
Over the last 21 years, the EAA Young Eagles program has flown more than 1.8 million young people free of charge. Recent research shows that these young people are five times more likely to become pilots than non-Young Eagles. They also already comprise more than 7 percent of the nation’s pilot population under age 35, as nearly 20,000 pilots are former Young Eagles participants.