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Eleven-Year Old Ponte Vedra Girl Learns to Fly Airplanes Thanks to Jacksonville Beach Man

Sixth-grade student Elif Turker has already flown an airplane even though she will not be allowed to drive a car for another four years, thanks to free flying lessons for Jacksonville-area teens through the Stephen M. Price Foundation. Recently Elif and flew a small plane from Jacksonville’s Craig Municipal Airport to Fernandina Beach and up and down the coast, with her instructor in tow. "It was amazing," she said. "It was so cool because we were flying over the beach, and all the clouds and sun reflecting off the water were so pretty." The Young Aviators program is the only one of its kind in the country, offering free ground school and in-the-air lessons for teens based only on desire to fly and not financial need. Price says his students get much more flight time than required because they begin so young and cannot get a license until they are 17. All of his students so far have continued on to get their pilot’s license, he says. The foundation normally accepts only teens aged 13 or older, but Price says her application essay was "exceptional."

November 12, 2009

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