Former United Airlines Captain Larry Steenstry, EAA 269136, received a pleasant surprise when his former Young Eagle, Tyler Norton, knocked on his door to say thank you nine years after his introductory flight.
Tyler was 14 when he had his first flight, and now, at age 27, he is a first officer for Delta Airlines living out his dream job.
“I was one of the very first, I think I was number 12, way back when we [Young Eagles pilots] had numbers,” Larry said. “I gave my first Young Eagles ride at Oshkosh when they first announced it. I like giving rides, period, to anyone: children or adults. When they came out with the Young Eagles Program, I thought it was very nice.”
While visiting his parents in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, Tyler came across some memorabilia while going through his old room. One of those happened to be a certificate that Larry gave to him after his first flight.
“It had been so long that I couldn’t even remember where the airport was located,” Tyler said in a blog post. “Luckily, it was on the certificate that I had framed. I did a quick Google search and found out it was only a few miles down the road!”
When Larry came to the door, he didn’t recognize Tyler at first. Then, Tyler showed him a few photos and the certificate from his flight.
“I was just proud that I influenced somebody to go on into aviation,” Larry said. “He showed up at my door and told me who he was and he had my Young Eagles certificate framed and said that he had just gotten a job at Compass Airlines.”
Larry and Tyler have stayed in touch ever since. Recently, Tyler landed his dream job at Delta Airlines, and he stopped by again to share the exciting news and say thank you.
“He gave me a framed photo of him in his Delta uniform and then three photos of the day I gave him a ride in the Champ,” Larry said.
Having Tyler reach out, express his gratitude, and share his journey has meant the world to Larry. Sometimes a simple thank you can go a long way.
Read Tyler’s blog story about his journey landing his dream job with Delta Air Lines here.