|By Carmelo Turdo|
Today's Young Eagles rally was conducted by EAA Chapter 64, also located at St. Louis Downtown Airport not far from the museum. The chapter recently celebrated its fiftieth anniversary, and has flown many Young Eagles over the years. Young Eagles flights are given free of charge to youth aged 8-17 through local EAA chapter rallies, and Young Eagles are also offered educational materials, first flight lesson vouchers and flight scholarships to encourage the development of the next generation of aviators. Those who have received Young Eagle flights from EAA Chapter 64 have discovered that there are a variety of aircraft involved, flown by very experienced and enthusiastic pilots. Young Eagles flights from St. Louis Downtown Airport offer a great view of the St. Louis skyline and neighboring sites such as the large rail yard north of the airport.
The Aero Experience team members Fred Harl and Mark Nankivil, along with our Youth Ambassador Jack Nankivil, were among those assisting with the flight line safety as the Young Eagles made the short walk to the aircraft from the museum hangar. The afternoon was clear and warm as the operation began following the pilot briefing by EAA Chapter 64 Young Eagles Coordinator Bob McDaniel. Local youth groups, including Cub Scouts, were represented. While some were being flown, others were touring the museum and trying out the full-size and kid-size aircraft cockpits and trainers. A variety of aircraft were used, including Cessna 172s, a Piper Cherokee and John and Elizabeth Schaefer's pristine Cessna 305A/O-1A Bird Dog. Here are some views of the flights:
Jack Nankivil was given a ride in the Schaefers' O-1A Bird Dog, and we have coverage of his flight, including a few views from the aircraft:
The Aero Experience team is proud to promote activities like the Young Eagles flights featured here today. Special thanks to the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum, EAA Chapter 64, pilots and ground crews, and Ideal Aviation FBO services.