What the EAA Young Eagles program does, is true to their motto: Inspiring the next generation of aviators. They invite young people ages 8 to 17 the opportunity to go flying in a general aviation airplane. As their website states,” since 1992, more than 1.9 million Young Eagles have enjoyed a flight from EAA’s network of volunteer pilots. For many, it was the start of their journey to becoming a pilot, aircraft mechanic, air traffic controller, or many other career possibilities.”
“Just think, it all started the day my father took me for a ride in an airplane,” says John a retired commercial pilot. At that time, I was ten years old, and only dreamed of being an airline pilot. After the Air Force, I flew for a commercial airline. Today, my wife Terri and I park our car in the airplane hangar, and fly our Piper PA-32 300 Cherokee from California to Seattle, Washington for dinner. ”I really enjoy meeting young people and inspiring them to pursue a career in aviation,” expresses this proud supporter of the EAA Young Eagles program.
This is what the EAA FLIGHT PLAN offers, a free first flight, student membership, free online flight training, and scholarship programs. Their mission is not just to start you flying, but to keep you interested in your aviation career by mentoring you every step of the way to achieve your goal.
The National Young Eagles Chairman, Sean D. Tucker is a Hall of Fame air show performer and world-renowned aerobatic pilot. He is all about inspiring and mentoring young pilots of the future. Sharing his passion and inspiring kids of all walks of life are his personal heroes. “These kids make a difference and in turn our world is a better place,” acknowledges Sean.
Every first Sunday at Santa Paula Airport the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) has a network of volunteer pilots like Neal Fowler, the Young Eagles Coordinator (805) 383-0686, waiting to offer young future pilots an unforgettable flight experience. To date a total of 1,927,745 Young Eagles has taken a flight into the future.
In addition, every first Sunday of the month, Santa Paula Aviation Museum is free and open to public. It is filled with archives, and interesting memorabilia. Sunday, August 2, 2015 will be a special first Sunday event. In celebration of the Santa Paula’s Airport 85th anniversary. The Tri-County Mustang and Ventura County Corvette cars will be on display. Numerous vintage aircraft, historical and community information booths, and lots of children’s activities will be there for your pleasure. The best, Molly Ryan will be performing live from her new album release “Let’s Fly Away” from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. Come and celebrate the festivities! For more information about this event; Please call AMSP at (805) 525-1109 or visit www.aviationmuseumofsantapaula.org.
Ready to take your first step in the future? Just go to their website EAA.org for information about membership, year round events, resources to help future aviators, and extensive networking opportunities.
This is the perfect summer outing that your kids will have no problem writing about what they did for school vacation. Educators, you too could not choose a better guest speaker for your class than Sean Tucker, the National Young Eagles Chairman.
Whether you are an aspiring pilot, or one who enjoys the wonders of aviation past and present, a Sunday at Santa Paula Airport is worth “taking off” time to visit.
© 2015 Benita Pagoria