On Saturday, May 4, EAA Chapter 1541 held a very successful Young Eagle Rally at our Lincoln Airport. All told, we carried 78 Young Eagles on free flights to introduce and expose young people to sport aviation. The weather was near-perfect and we enjoyed a large and happy crowd of youngsters, many of whom made their first flights in an airplane.
We had eleven pilots who donated their time, airplanes, and fuel costs (at $4.90 per gallon for avgas these days) who made numerous flights between 8:30 am and 2:00 pm. We also had a good and dedicated group of volunteers from both our chapter and local community who
served as the ground crew to make the event a success. The two gyroplanes that participated were a hit with the Young Eagles, as was the Globe Swift that added a classic touch to the ramp scene. The other eight participating aircraft were also busy all day with flights carrying the “eaglets.”
I think the consensus from all, both volunteers and families, was that the Rally was a complete success and everyone had a good time. We exposed several dozen families to the Lincoln Airport for the first time and the experience was a good one for them.
There was a lot of behind-the-scenes planning and work that went into this event, most of which is only noticed because the event came off so well. Nonetheless, it should be mentioned that a Young Eagle Rally is not a spontaneous event and it requires the investment of some significant time and effort by several in the chapter, particularly our chapter’s Young Eagle Coordinator, Cheryl Andrade.
Our chapter’s next Rally is scheduled for October. Young Eagle Rallys are a cornerstone in the national EAA organization’s initiative to introduce the youth of America to aviation, and the program has provided more than 2.1 million free rides since it began in 1992. Our chapter is eager to add to that number.
New chapter member Anthony Moreno was not able to attend our May 4th Young Eagle Rally, so Bruce Estes arranged to provide a personalized Young Eagle flight on Sunday, April 28. Anthony has plans to make aviation a career, and our chapter is happy to provide whatever help we can.