Our first Young Eagle Rally is in the history books. The skies were clear, the visibility was unlimited, and the winds were light (at least until about 11am). We had a good turnout of planes and pilots…Thank You. Also in attendance was a brand new participating pilot in the Young Eagle Program. The following is a copy of the article I sent to EAA.
Over 2 million young adults have been introduced to the wonders of aviation through the Young Eagles program. This is about one, my son, Alex. One of the longtime members of Chapter 461, Arnie Zimmerman, has literally flown thousands of kids in his iconic Breezy airplane. Several years ago, Arnie took Alex up for a ride (first picture). His experiences with Arnie and others in Chapter 461 motivated him to pursue a career in aviation.
Three years ago, Alex helped me fly the one-of-a-kind Sea Breezy to Oshkosh for AirVenture 2014 (he is sitting in the seat of the Sea Breezy).
On Saturday, April 8th, as part of Chapter 461’s first Young Eagle Rally of the season, Alex wanted to give back. He came in town from the University of North Dakota just for this Rally, to fly his first Young Eagles. He was very excited to be participating for the first time as a pilot. Having Arnie there for support was extra fun. The third picture is Alex in the middle, Tanner, his first Young Eagle on his right, and Arnie to his left. Alex flew 5 kids in a Cessna 172 during the rally, probably having more fun than the kids themselves. He is planning to participate in the Young Eagles program for a long time.
Let no one doubt the impact we can make on the lives of the young ones we meet through the Young Eagles Program and EAA.