Twice a year at the Hawkins County Airport (RVN) in Surgoinsville, volunteer pilots from EAA local chapter 442 give youngsters (ages 8 to 17) an opportunity to learn about aeronautics.
Since 1992, 1.6 million kids in 90 different countries have gotten a first-hand introduction into the world of aviation through the Young Eagles Flight Experience sponsored by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA).
Twice a year at the Hawkins County Airport (RVN) in Surgoinsville, volunteer pilots from EAA local chapter 442 give youngsters (ages 8 to 17) an opportunity to learn about aeronautics. For most of the kids, it’s not just the thrill of their first flight, but the excitement they feel when they take the controls.
"We take the kids up and fly toward Kingsport giving them instructions and, usually on the return leg, we let them have the stick," said Bruce Campbell, coordinator for the local 442 Young Eagles program. "Our whole intent is to have the kids experience flying with the supervision of the pilot."
To date, 949 local Young Eagles have participated in the program.
Each participant receives a personal logbook from the pilot which contains a code that activates student membership into the EAA. Access to online publications, members-only website, free admission to museums and a host of other information is available to help the student’s pursuit to fly.
Part of the program allows a young person to go through ground school training with a free comprehensive two-part online course that prepares them to pass the written portion of the Federal Aviation Administration’s test. After completion, a parent can enroll their 13 to 19-year-old child into flight school, where scholarships are available to help your child achieve the dream of becoming a pilot.
The next Young Eagles Day takes off from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, June 16, at the Hawkins County Airport (RVN) in Surgoinsville. If your child, scout troop or church group has an interest in flying, call Bruce Campbell at 423-272-9682 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.