Soaring Like Eagles
By Dan WeikelSince founding the Young Eagles program 16 years ago, the Experimental Aircraft Association has flown thousands of flights with more than 1.4 million school-age children in an effort to raise interest and awareness in aviation. Young Eagles Chairman Harrison Ford, who has taken more than 200 children up in his own personal plane, says the program gives kids a chance to see how responsible and trained pilots perform in the cockpit. "It is also good for them to see that there are adults in the field who are interested in their futures and encouraging them to stay in school and study," the actor said. "This encourages kids in all the right directions." Training in general aviation, which includes everything from commercial aircraft to helicopters and aerobatic airplanes, is a requirement for non-military pilots, say officials from the Experimental Aircraft Association. Officials from the association believe the Young Eagles program encourages many participants to become pilots, air traffic controllers, and aviation executives.
January 8, 2009