Up, up and away junior birdmen

More than 10 local pilots volunteered their time to introduce the thrill of flying to potential aviators at the Ninth Annual Los Alamitos Wings, Wheels &  Rotors Expo held Sunday, October 24th, 2010 at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base.

John Mahany and Dennis C. Lord were among the volunteer pilots.  Both agree that they are always eager to support this community effort and they appreciate the event as a truly rewarding experience.

“Seeing the sparkle and excitement in the eyes of young passengers as they exit the 15-minute flight is the best part of the day,” Mahany said. With more than 30 years of flying experience, Mahany is quick to point out that, “Aviation has a need for more pilots, and sometimes a short flight like this can be a portal to aviation for a young person.”

Myles is a sixth- grade student at Los Coyotes in La Palma.  His flight was with Pilot Dennis C. Lord.  Flying in a small plane was a first for Myles.  “It was really fun,” he said with a happy grin soon after his feet got back on the ground.  Before the flight, Myles confirmed that his only prior flight was in a commercial plane to visit relatives in Washington D.C. when he was nine.

The flight experience, offered free of charge to boys and girls age 8 to 17, is a collaborative effort sponsored by a worldwide organization known as EAA Young Eagles program.  Since 1992, more than 1.5 million Young Eagles have enjoyed a flight through the program. Young Eagles have been registered in more than 90 different countries and have been flown by more than 42,000 volunteer pilots.

EAA’s objective is to provide young people the opportunity to go flying in a general aviation airplane.  These flights are made possible through the generosity of EAA member volunteers.

For more information, visit www.youngeagles.org.