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Young Eagles Day on tap this Sunday at Benedum

by Gail Marsh

ASSISTANT CITY EDITOR

Have you ever wondered what it's like to fly?

Youth who would like to learn about aviation are invited to Benedum Airport on Sunday for a free instructional school to be followed by an airplane ride.

Any young person, ages 8-17, is invited to attend the Young Eagles Day, scheduled from noon to 5 p.m. at the Bridgeport facility. The program is sponsored by Chapter 842 of the Experimental Aircraft Association.

"This is just a promotion that the association sponsors to spark an interest in aviation. It introduces kids to the thrill and excitement of flying, and hopefully to get some of them interested in a career in aviation," said Ross A. White, chairperson of the event.

White said children must come with a parent in order to be registered, but everyone who comes will get to take part in the ground school and airplane ride.

The ground school will include an explanation of how an airplane flies and allows the youth to handle the controls and learn what makes the plane climb and turn. The ground school will be conducted by members of the Civil Air Patrol, under the direction of Lt. Col. Rodney A. Moore.

Following the instructional session, the youths will be taken for a 30-minute flight by licensed pilots. Upon landing, the youth will receive a certificate, signed by veteran pilot Chuck Yeager, designating them an official "Young Eagle."

"A majority of the kids who come have never flown before, so I always tell the parents to be sure to bring a camera. You can't duplicate the expression they have after their first flight," White said.

People coming to the event can park in the lower lot in front of the terminal and look for the signs to the Young Eagles program. For more information, contact White at 622-2945 or view the Web site at www.youngeagles.com.

Assistant city editor Gail Marsh can be reached at 626-1447 or by e-mail at gmarsh@exponent-telegram.com.

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