Flying Young Eagles: My 1st Rally

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Flying Young Eagles: My 1st Rally

Young Eagles Filmstrip

I am ashamed to admit it, but Saturday was my first time to attend a Young Eagles rally. Not only did I attend, but I flew as a volunteer pilot.

EAA Chapter 9, based in Columbus, OH,  was host to the November 17th event at The Ohio State University airport (KOSU).


Lots of Young Eagles Volunteers

Hard working volunteers are what make this possible

The date was actually a month earlier, but we had to reschedule due to IFR conditions. The rain-date dawned clear and crisp as late fall in Ohio is want to do. The sun was beaming and temps would reach almost 60 by mid-day.

It was a short :20 ferry to OSU from home-base and I was the first airplane to arrive – it was obvious I was excited to fly some kids.

With a single passenger seat behind the pilot, I wasn’t sure how popular my airplane would be with the kids, especially since they like going up with family or friends. The good news was there were plenty of four-seaters that showed up.

Young Eagles C-182

Rick’s C-182. Rick does a lot of YE work!

As we approached the 10am official start time Ted arrived in his Grumman Tiger, Rick in a C-182, Kenny in his Tripacer, Jerry in his Pacer, Dick in his C-172 and at least 2 other planes (they left before I could meet them). The good weather brought out all the pilots!

I ended up flying the 1st sortie with a young man named Reggie, he had never flown in an airplane!

The rally was really organized with ground support, pilot briefings, and even a cheat sheet to show us the flight pattern and pertinent frequencies; even this rookie YE-driver looked like a pro with all this help!

My second ride was with a 10-year-old named Ryan, he was really gung-ho and flew like a champ. I asked him if he flew flight sims and he said, “yes, a lot.”

Next was a young lady named Ainee, pronounced “An-eye”, she was fun, asking if we go upside down; guess she’s not afraid to fly.

My last flight was with a teenager named Noah.

I let all of them fly and they did great, especially the youngest, Ryan. All exempt Ryan had either never flown or only flew in airliners, which I think is cool.

Most of the parents expressed to me how much their child loves airplanes; good on them to seek us out and bring them to the airport. There were whole families that showed up!

We flew almost 40 kids. I remarked to one of the volunteers about the good turnout only to be informed that they do over a 100 kids on a good day; rookie!

It was a great day of flying and spending time with like-minded folks!

If you haven’t volunteered or flown Young Eagles you need to get out there. It is a great way to be involved in the solution and who knows, that Young Eagle today could be the next…

To learn more about EAA’s Young Eagles and their new adult program call Eagles go here:

Have you flown Young Eagles or volunteered? We’d love to hear your stories.


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