Perfect flying weather arrived Saturday morning at the Santa Ynez Airport as pilots eagerly waited to show nervous and excited teens, many of whom had never been farther than their neighborhoods, what the world looked like from a different point of view.
Seventy-five youths from three charitable organizations attended the now-famous EAA-Young Eagles Day.
The philanthropic men and women of the Experimental Aircraft Association of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez chapters, along with Santa Barbara-based Above All Aviation and the Santa Barbara Flying Club took to the skies Saturday morning and gave these youths the rides of their lives.
For plane enthusiasts, it was a unique display of aircraft. Piper Arrows, Cessna 172s and 182s, RV-7s, Piper Comanches, Cessna 140s, Piper Cherokees and Cessna 170s filled the sky as the youths went up with one attitude and came down with another. Heads held high, the new aviators watched as their logbooks, donated by Sporty’s Pilot Shop, were signed, signifying that that they had flown an airplane.
“I soared like an eagle!” Jacob Dorchen exclaimed at the end of his flight.
Barbecued hotdogs and hamburgers were served for $5 donations thanks to the generous efforts of America’s Charities, which had transformed the picnic area into a Halloween extravaganza with games and prices for everyone.
By the end of the event, it was easy to see that it wasn’t just the students who had experienced something special. Counselors, teachers, mentors, parents and grandparents were all inspired by what they had witnessed. It was a perfect example of organizations coming together to provide an empowering experience for youths.
Organizations A Different Point of View, America’s Charities, CADA-Youth Services (Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse) and the Daniel Bryant Youth & Family Treatment Center were honored to be part of it all.
For more information about EAA and the Young Eagles Program, contact Santa Barbara Chapter President Carl Hopkins at 805.967.2943 or Santa Ynez Chapter President John Westra at 805.693.5178. Click here for information about professional flight training from Above All Aviation.
— Lynn Houston represents A Different Point of View.