By Atlanta Parent Editorial . July 31, 2014
When our family found out about the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) Young Eagles aviation program, we knew that we had to add it to our must-do list. The program gives kids the opportunity to fly in an airplane and discover the world of aviation. Flights are free, thanks to EAA member volunteers.
After arriving, we completed registration for my twin 8-year-old boys. Jaxson and Jayson received their boarding passes and excitedly listened to safety briefing conducted by a retired Delta Airlines flight captain. He spoke about the importance of math and science classes in school and encouraged students interested in flight to pay close attention to their lessons in those areas!
Certified FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) pilots running that day’s flights answered questions about the planes and aviation. They explained that flights would last about 20 minutes, and no aerobatic maneuvers are performed. Planes are small and can hold one to three passengers, plus the pilot. My sons got to walk through the pre-flight inspections with their pilots and go over the aeronautical chart, or map of the flight route, before takeoff. Inside the plane, they learned about the instrument panel and the interior, including safety features.
Separated into two groups, my boys got to experience different pilots and flight plans. Jaxson flew over Stone Mountain while Jayson flew over Lake Lanier. Both boys enjoyed it so much that they plan to complete the online Young Eagles training and return for the next phase in the Young Eagles program, a real flight lesson!
Insider Tips: Arrive early, as the Young Eagles program is popular and lines can be long. Your child will receive a logbook with an entry of the day’s flight and a certificate. The first flight automatically qualifies your child for membership with the EAA. Once your child has experienced the adventure of flight, his/her name will be permanently entered in the World’s Largest Logbook at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wis.
– Marteeta Spradling
If You Go
EAA Young Eagles Aviation Program
EAA 690 Hangar Sports Aviation Complex
690 Airport Road, Lawrenceville
Hours: Each third Saturday of the month, weather permitting from 9 a.m.-noon.