Thursday, October 20, 2011

Flying Kids

I grew up flying over town in my dad's single-engine airplanes and playing in grease in hangars during Summer while other kids played in swimming pools. My dad is an A&P mechanic and a workaholic, so I learned the NATO alphabet at the same time I learned the regular one. Therefore it makes perfect sense that I try to introduce aviation to my kids.

Until recently, my efforts included meals at the municipal airport cafe around the corner; watching jets land in the designated observation lot near the runway at McCarran; and trips to see Grandpa at the hangar where he's working now - even at the age of 74.

But earlier this month, we took advantage of a very cool program which is part of the Experimental Aircraft Association - the Young Eagles. You can read all about it by following the link to their website, but for the purposes of my blog, you only need to know that Joseph got to fly for free over our beautiful Nevadan desert for about half an hour in a homebuilt airplane. I have included a photo of the plane, just before landing safely, in case that word "homebuilt" makes you nervous. Preceding the flight, he was given a basic explanation of the parts of the plane, how it flies, and a logbook of his very own. Any child between the ages of eight and eighteen is eligible for this and you can find a chapter in your area on the website.

The experience impressed my often-stoic ten year-old. And I was proud to have done my part to promote an ongoing affection for aviation in our family. Plus, four more children have been taught to "walk wide around the propeller." Heard that a time or two growing up.
Cayna declined a flight, but liked the right seat.
Bethie wanted to fly, but has to wait a couple years.
Coming in for a landing!
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