My ultimate goal with all this flying, writing and excitement for aviation is to encourage others to feel the same happiness I feel when I am in the air. Yes, there is a selfish sense of escape, freedom, control, power and romance that I am overcome with, but when I land I want to shout out from the roof… I mean hangar-tops that, “I hope anyone who is capable of enjoying this as much as I do gets the chance to feel this excitement!”
So I ask myself, all the time… How can I help make this possible for more people. How can I get someone, who has never even sat in a small airplane, in touch with an undeveloped but potentially life changing experience? We must make that initial contact with the airplane possible. We must get kids who want to fly, up in the air. It was Leonardo DaVinci who said, “For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return”.
My friend Greg Anderson, the president and CEO at Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, is very active with the EAA’s Young Eagles program (www.youngeagles.org). This is an organization that gets kids, ages 8-17 the opportunity to go flying in a general aviation airplane. The flights are free to the kids and generously donated by EAA volunteers. Since 1992, more than 1.6 million Young Eagles have experienced flight through the program.
I have decided to become a Young Eagles volunteer… and I want you to do it with me. I would like to issue a challenge to all the pilots reading this blog, to join me in extending a flight to a future pilot.
You must be current, have your medical, and have at least your sport pilot’s license.
Not a pilot? Tell a child or the parent of a child who would be excited or motivated by a flight in an airplane to contact me and I can help them get started.
This amazing organization has done wonders and I think it would be great if we could all chip in towards the amazing goals they are working toward.
Imagine yourself at that age, maybe 14 years old… searching for what makes your heart soar. If you were given a gift like this, where would you be today? What special place would you hold in your heart for the person that took you flying for the first time?
Let me know if you are in.
P.S. If you are an adult and YOU want to get involved in aviation, let me know! Let’s go out to the airport… let’s look at planes… let’s talk about what it is going to take to get you up in the air. I promise you… IT IS POSSIBLE.