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News > Laughlin pilots play part in Young Eagles program
Laughlin pilots play part in Young Eagles program

Posted 3/28/2012   Updated 3/28/2012 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Scott Saldukas
47th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

3/28/2012 - LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- A few Laughlin pilots are taking their knowledge of aviation and giving back to the local community through the Experimental Aircraft Association Young Eagles program Del Rio chapter.

The program launched in 1992 to give interested you people, ages 8 to 14, the opportunity to fly in a general aviation aircraft free of charge through the generosity of EAA member volunteers.

"The goal is to get young people motivated and excited about aviation and inspire them to pursue their education or career in that field," said Daniel Prudhomme, 84th Flying Training Squadron executive officer.

Prudhomme said the Young Eagles rallies usually take place bi-monthly at the Del Rio International Airport Saturday mornings while local pilots donate their time and aircraft giving short 15-minute flights to attendees.

"During the Young Eagles flight, students will receive a presentation on what will be happening during the flight," said Capt. Willie Lloyd, 47th Operations Group executive officer. "This might include talking about the airplane, reviewing aeronautical charts and completing a preflight inspection of the airplane. Once the pilot and crew are ready to fly, the students will be taken on a predetermined route over Lake Amistad and the City of Del Rio."

While taking a flight is an enjoyable thing for almost everyone, Lloyd said the program has deeper roots than just flying around.

"The program promotes education and provides new experiences for our youth and is critical to the future of our nation," he said. "Additionally, opportunities such as this will create an emphasis on the value of training, preparation and teamwork."

To date, the Young Eagles program has provided inspirational and educational flights to more than one-and-a-half million people throughout the U.S.

"Having the opportunity to bring that experience to our local community is near and dear to the hearts of our chapter members," Lloyd said. "We are all thoroughly excited to have the opportunity to provide this free service and to share the joy of aviation with our local youth."

For those who are interested in participating in a Young Eagles flight or being a part of the local chapter, contact Lloyd at 298-1594 or Prudomme at 298-4157 for further details.

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