Young eagles get chance to soar

NEW KNOXVILLE — Youth between the ages of 8 and 17 were treated to free airplane rides Saturday at Neil Armstrong Airport in New Knoxville.

The rides were offered by members of the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 922.

The purpose of the annual event, called Young Eagles Day, is to get youth interested in flying.

Although parents were required to attend, the focus was on the young riders.

“We want the youth to get up close to the aircraft without their parents,” spokesman Neil Winget said. “That way, if there is any fear, we know they probably shouldn’t go.”

Winget said approximately 110 youth took flights last year. A total for this year was not immediately available.
Each plane at the event was capable of carrying three passengers.

The young passengers went along with the pilot as he performed his pre-flight check to ensure the aircraft was safe. Along the way, the pilot explained the various parts of the aircraft and what he was checking for.

After that, it was off to the wild blue yonder for an aerial tour of the area and an experience not soon to be forgotten.