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Flying Scholarship for Kids 12-17 who are Interested in Aviation: Young Eagles

Saturday , Posted by AME at 2:25 AM

EAA Young Eagles - Annual Scholarship contest for kids 12-17

The EAA Young Eagles offers kids a chance to fly for free and has flown more than 1.3 million youths in 90 countries since its creation in 1992.

The next local Young Eagles flying day is 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Harbor Springs airport. All kids 8-17 are invited to come to the airport for a free flight around the bay, over the school or to see their house from the sky. Volunteer pilots will bring their own three or four passenger airplanes and provide fuel to give kids the chance to fly.

"Our goal for this program is to introduce kids to aviation and view the countryside from 1,000 feet up," said Bill Meyer, coordinator of the EAA Young Eagles chapter 1087.

The club has an annual scholarship contest for kids 12-17 who are interested in aviation. The best essay wins a trip to the air academy summer camp for aviation in Oshkosh, Wis. This year, the club was able to provide two scholarships to area youths.

The scholarship program is funded by the flying days. For each Young Eagle that flies for the first time, the chapter receives $5 from Philips Petroleum and Ford Motor Company to be used for scholarships.

The Young Eagles have a flying day about once a month. So far this year 225 children and about 65 parents have flown, according to Meyer. The events are first come, first served. Large groups such as schools and Boy Scout troops can preregister for group flying days, but the normally scheduled flying days are free and open to anyone who shows up.

"It's all about getting kids interested in aviation," Meyer explained.

The international women in aviation week is coming up next spring, commented Meyer, who said he remembers flying a girl who is now a helicopter pilot for the Coast Guard. Many, many pilots have been Young Eagles, he said.

For more information, contact Meyer at (231) 838-8545 or visit www.youngeagles.org.

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