Annual fly-in to be held at Wetumpka Municipal Airport

Published 12:04pm Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Youth from 8 to 17 years old will have the chance to slip the bonds of earth April 26 during the spring fly-in hosted by Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter 822 at the Wetumpka Municipal Airport. Each year, members of the group offer free airplane rides for children as part of the national Young Eagles program.

During previous fly-ins, more than 1,000 young people have taken advantage of the chance to ride in a general aviation airplane flown by a local pilot. Before planes leave the ground, youngsters can observe pilots during preflight inspections and also become familiar with some of the parts of the planes.

In addition, the Young Eagles will receive certificates and their names will be entered in the national Young Eagles logbook. The event is touted by the Alabama Aviator website as the state’s largest Young Eagles events.

“Last year the Wetumpka EAA Chapter flew 203 Young Eagles at the fly-in,” said Stan Tew, chapter president. “Our hope is that this early experience may plant the seed for a lifelong interest in aviation. We would  like to see even more young people participate this year and in the future.”

Permission from a parent or guardian is required for children to participate. Registration will be on site at the event, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. No preregistration will be conducted.

Pilots from around the area will be involved. Their airplanes will include Cessnas, Pipers, antique aircraft, experimental home-built aircraft and some War Bird ex-military aircraft.

Organizers said the event primarily aims to spark youngsters’ interest in airplanes and flying, but also features activities and displays for all ages.

For children 7 and younger, there will be two full-motion flight simulators. There will also be concessions, static aircraft displays and other activities.

Everyone is welcome to attend. The airport is located on Alabama Highway 14 near Coosada.

EAA is a national, non-profit organization that promotes sport and recreational aviation and provides a resource to its members who wish to build or restore sport aircraft.

 

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