Young Eagles preparing to fly into Greenville on Saturday


By Lonnie Allen • Last Updated 12:25 pm on Thursday, June 14, 2012

File photo Emily Bestrom, right, of Ada, helps Jack Hendricks, of Gowen, direct a flight onto the taxi runway during the 2011 Young Eagles event at Greenville Municipal Airport. — File photo

GREENVILLE — Parents, prepare for your children to soar like the eagles as they climb high in the air and glide through the clouds Saturday during the annual Young Eagles “I Can Fly” event at the Greenville Municipal Airport.

Events Director Kris Kropf is looking forward to the event.

“Originally, this was all started by Tom Faussett,” Kropf said. “He did all the dirty work.”

Kropf is taking over for Faussett so he can celebrate his son getting married and have more time to work on his experimental aircraft.

“He really worked hard to get this going,” Kropf said. “I was next in line so we kind of know what we are doing and we tweaked it to fit for this area.”

Greenville Area Aviation Association board member Julie Butler said local businesses support the event.

“Their donations help the pilots out with fuel cost,” she said. “The pilots donate their time and the plane.”

The event would not be possible without these businesses and their help so children and their families can experience what aviation can offer for free.

“This day and age families cannot afford to promote aviation to their children and it gives those 8 through 17 an experience of a lifetime,” Butler said.

The Young Eagles are affiliated with the Experimental Aircraft Association (EEA) and its purpose is to get students interested in flying.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and continues until 1 p.m. Saturday.

During that period of time students ages 8 through 17 can take part in some short programs.

“We will have a paper airplane workshops while they wait for the rides,” Kropf said. “Air traffic controller Jim VanZee from Gerald R. Ford Airport will offer a question and answer session too.”

Everything is ready for flight, weather permitting.

“You know how that is, you plan months in advance and you can be rained out,” Butler said. “That is a tough thing when the weather is bad because you have all these kids lined up that are excited about it and you have to call it off for safety reasons and it is just heartbreaking to do that to the children.”

Each child will receive a Young Eagles log book and more.

“They will walk out of here with a little flight knowledge too,” Kropf said. “They will learn call numbers, how communicate on the radio and the understanding of the forces of flight.”

 

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