June 2010 - FLY FLY AWAY
Have I mentioned before how I LOVE free activities? Ahhhh – this activity tops them all! You know that feeling you get when you are standing in line for a huge roller coaster and you finally get in the cart and your heart starts racing, you are not sure if you can do it or not, then you start to go up the hill…….and down and whoosh….and then its over and you yell out, whoooo hoooo, that was awesome!! Well, imagine sending your darling child up in a small propeller airplane without you sitting next to them to protect them from the world. Ahhh yes, that’s the roller coaster heart racing, whoo hooo experience alright!
My girls are brave enough to try about anything, so we embarked on our latest adventure of flying without mom. As long as your child is over the age of 8 and under 17, they are encouraged to participate in this incredible free flight opportunity. EAA Young Eagles was founded in 1953 and introduces children to the love of aviation. Pilots volunteer their time and talent and give children a tour of their airplane. They then buckle them up for a complimentary flight. Children receive a flight certificate and their own flight log book once they have completed the adventure.
Steve Meyers was the girl’s pilot and Stephen Treacy was their co-pilot. They flew in Mr. Meyer’s refurbished 1967 Piper Cherokee Aircraft. Wearing headphones with an attached microphone, they were able to communicate with the pilots during the flight. Marissa said the pilots ‘rocked’ and Tessa said she felt like she was going to fall out of the airplane when it tilted a bit on the turn. Both were nervous to fly, but ended their trip with a HUGE thumbs up, an incredible experience to share, and the big question of when can we do this again?! The program accomplished its goals of creating aviation enthusiasm in these young girls.
Bolingbrook’s Clow International Airport is located at 130 S. Clow International Parkway, Bolingbrook, IL 60440. Airport phone number is 630-378-0479. EAA Chapter 461 local Young Eagles contacts are Arnold Zimmerman at 630-985-5555 and James Oeffinger at 630-420-1835. Young Eagles website is www.youngeagles.org. The airport website is www.bbclowairport.com. Young Eagles is hosted the second Saturday of every month, weather permitting, April through November, from 9am-Noon. Participation is free for ages 8-17. – Kristen Kucharski