Young Eagles take to the skies

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Photos



  • Photo by Roger Gavan Finbar O'Connor, 6, gets ready to take his first Young Eagle's flight in the co-pilot's seat of a Cessna 172 with owner Brian Adkins. Finbar's feet, however, may not reach the rudder pedals.



WARWICK — Having participated in the program twice, Brianna Dougherty, 14, is now a veteran of the (EAA) Experimental Aviation Association's Young Eagles program.

On Saturday, June 14, she and about a dozen other young local residents sat in the co-pilot's seat of single engine airplanes based at Warwick Municipal Airport to take advantage of the popular introductory Young Eagles flight program.

The EAA Young Eagles program was launched in 1992 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 the generosity of EAA member volunteers.

Since 1992, more than 1.8 million Young Eagles have enjoyed a flight through the program. Young Eagles have been registered in more than 90 different countries and have been flown by nearly 40,000 volunteer pilots.

The licensed pilots who offered the free rides at Warwick Municipal Airport, began by taking their "co-pilots" and passengers with them on a careful "walk around" preflight inspection of the airplane while also identifying and explaining the control surfaces that enable the airplane to climb, turn and descend. During the actual flights, which usually lasted 15 or 20 minutes, the pilots also explained the purpose of each instrument on the panel and demonstrated how the flight controls work. After landing, all the youngsters who flew received an official Young Eagles Certificate signed by the pilot.

EAA, the Experimental Aircraft Association, is an international aviation membership association founded in 1953 and headquartered in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The organization sponsors many aviation education programs including the EAA Young Eagles program.

The Warwick Valley Pilot's Association, which maintains Warwick Municipal Airport, hosts the Young Eagles program once or twice each year, depending on the weather, as a community service.

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