By Jeff Bock, EAA 880944
Our EAA Chapter 1441 in Sandpoint, Idaho, has a very positive, energetic president who places strong emphasis on two projects.
One is our scholarship program for both aspiring high school students to continue their flying education and for our maintenance program building (rebuilding) airplanes.
The second is enthusiasm for the Young Eagles program. Most often we only get minimal feedback from the young boys and girls that take these free airplane rides with our volunteers. Once in a while, though, we learn that our Young Eagles have gone on to do great things, and we can take pride in our contributions to help set them on their path.
I had the pleasure of flying a 16-year-old girl on what was her first light aircraft flight. This young lady was quite enthused and subsequently began flight instruction in Sandpoint. Because of her enthusiasm and talent, she received scholarship money from our EAA chapter and other sources to help her along. Now, at 19 years of age, she is flying a helicopter for a news station in Toronto, Ontario.
Just recently, I flew a 17-year-old on her first flight in a light aircraft, my Kitfox 7. Before the flight, I gave her about 30 minutes of training on flight basics of lift and how the controls worked so she would understand the relationship of flight control inputs to the movement and effect of control surfaces.
We landed after 45 minutes, 30 of which she was operating the controls. At one point, I commented to her that she had been flying for about five minutes without me touching any controls. Her grin was priceless!
So far, this was a most ordinary Young Eagles flight, with one exception. This young lady’s given name is Eagle!
Eagle has been home schooled exclusively and is now taking courses at North Idaho College. Eagle, at a young age, has started her own business as a horse trainer. To give to our community, she is a volunteer firefighter with Clark Fork Fire. Looking a little further into the future, Eagle wishes to join the Coast Guard and train for the HITRON Unit (Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron), then, to become an officer and fly helicopters. This is a young lady with a lot of determination and lofty (pun intended) goals. GO EAGLE!