EAA AirVenture Oshkosh - The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration

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Young Eagles Pilots, Kids Active at AirVenture
EAA Young Eagles co-chairman Jeff Skiles goes over details of his Waco YOC with Mayson and Corrin Hazaert before their Young Eagles flight on Monday, July 26.
Larry Harmacinski, EAA #241492, of Cornelius, N.C., was one of several volunteer pilots offering Young Eagles flights during AirVenture.
Again this year, RotorWay International hosted Young Eagle flights in the Rotorcraft area. Members of the Aviation Explorers base camp volunteering at Oshkosh were given the chance to fly with RotorWay factory pilots on Wednesday, July 28.
You can always count on AirVenture to showcase the latest innovations and preview what lies ahead in the future of flight. The future on display, however, wasn't only the newest gadgets and gizmos. The future was captured through young people's eyes filled with awe and amazement as they took their first steps toward seeing their aviation dreams fulfilled.

Volunteer pilots took approximately 80 young people on EAA Young Eagles flights throughout AirVenture, including about 50 in fixed-wing aircraft, 25 in helicopters thanks to RotorWay, and four very deserving kids enjoying the ride of their lives in the Spirit of Goodyear blimp thanks to Make-A-Wish.

Young Eagles co-chairmen Sully Sullenberger and Jeff Skiles were on hand at AirVenture promoting the program in addition to taking to the skies with Young Eagles.

"We need youth involved in aviation today, allowing them to have real adventures in real life, not just electronic adventures," Sullenberger said. "It's about inspiring young people to choose this when there are a lot of things they could be doing."

On AirVenture's opening day, Skiles gave Mayson Hazaert, 9, and Corrin Hazaert, 8, their Young Eagles flight in his beautiful 1935 Waco YOC. The brother and sister duo were all smiles afterwards, but they may have not been the most thrilled of the three.

"It's more exciting for me than it is for them," Skiles said. "It's real excitement for them when they get to put their hands on the wheel. Not everyone likes to do that. When you get those brave enough and they actually get to fly, you can really get to see a spark in their eye."

Later in the week, Sullenberger took Hannah Hightower, 16, daughter of incoming EAA president, as well as Kye Vaske, 8, on a Young Eagles flight in EAA's "Photo 1" Cessna 210J. News story on Sully's flight courtesy of WLUK-TV Fox 11 in Green Bay.

The Young Eagles program has provided more than 1.55 million free flights to youth, thanks to 43,000 volunteer pilots and more than 80,000 ground crew members who have given of their time and talents since the program began in 1992.

Visit www.youngeagles.org to find out how to experience a Young Eagles flight or to volunteer your services in helping introduce the world of flight to the next generation of pilots.

FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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