Young Eagles event allows area youngsters to soar to new heights
By TRISHA PHELPS
Mt. Pleasant News
Over 60 youngsters came to the Mt. Pleasant Municipal airport to participate in the Young Eagles Fly-In on Saturday morning.
Seven pilots from the Burlington Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) brought their planes to give rides to the youngsters (ages 8-17) and the Mt. Pleasant Kiwanis Club supplied the fuel.
The Young Eagles program was developed by the EAA Aviation Foundation to welcome young people into the world of aviation.
The event was originally scheduled for Oct. 5, but due to the weather conditions that day was postponed to Oct. 12.
Gannon McNamee, 10, of Mt. Pleasant was a little nervous before getting on the plane. “I shouldn’t have had the cookies and cream soda,” he told his dad, Rich McNamee.
Once the flight was over, Gannon’s nerves were completely gone.
“I think it was great.” Gannon said. “I didn’t want to land. I’m going to go again next year. It was so great. Once the plane started, I wasn’t nervous anymore.”
“That was true,” said Jeff Diewold, the pilot who took Gannon in the air. “As soon as I started the plane he looked at me and said ‘I’m not nervous anymore’ “
Diewold has been participating in the Young Eagles rides for several years, and noted that he had given over 100 young eagles flights to youngsters over the years.
Diewold was flying an RV-6A on Saturday, and had hopes of bringing his own plane next year.
“Maybe next year I will bring mine in,” sad Diewold. “I’m building one right now from a kit. I’ve been working on it for seven years.”
Kiwanis has sponsored the Young Eagles program has had an annual fall event for over 12 years, only missing one year, 2011.