Area youth will be introduced to aviation when Chapter 1387 of the Experimental Aircraft Association holds a free Young Eagle Flight program 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 4, at the Mexico Memorial Airport.
"(The kids) get to go up for about 30, 40 minutes and they go around and they get to experience aviation and flying," said Young Eagle Coordinator Nick Dawson.
EAA is expecting around 35 to 50 youth ages 8 to 17 to take part in the event. RSVPs are preferred by sending a message to the chapter's Facebook page, or confirming attendance on the Facebook event page. Participants can show up on the day of the event to register.
"(Young people should) look forward to the experience," Dawson said.
The aircraft used for the event are certified, he said. The Young Eagle Flight program started in 1992, and more than 2.1 million youth have taken a trip as of April 8. Chapter 1387 has conducted flights for approximately 10 years and have taken about 2,000 children up in a plane, Dawson said. The chapter typically does two to three flight events each year.
"Once (the children) complete the Young Eagle flight, they're given free ground school through Sporty's Aviation," Dawson said. "They get a certificate of completion, and then, they get a free membership to the EAA. There's a full kind of package."
Flight events typically include six to seven volunteer licensed and insured pilots, and some planes can seat up to four individuals. The Mexico event will be capped at 50 participants and a parent or guardian’s signed permission is required at the event. A weather decision for youth and flight safety will be made by 5 p.m. Friday, May 3, and posted on the chapter's website and on Facebook.