Free flying program exposes young people to aviation - FOX Carolina 21

Free flying program exposes young people to aviation

Posted: Updated:
(FOX Carolina)/January 4, 2018 (FOX Carolina)/January 4, 2018

A Greer pilot is being recognized for his involvement in a flight program that introduces flying to kids.  It opens them up to the possibility of a career in aviation, and could help an industry that's facing a severe pilot shortage.

The program is called Young Eagles, and pilot Dale Ellis has been volunteering his time and talents for nearly 20 years.

He said, "Our goal in flying these kids is to get these kids excited about airplanes, get them excited about the maths and sciences and the engineering associated with airplanes."

Young Eagles is put on by the EAA, Experimental Aircraft Association.  Ellis is one of 50,000 volunteers around the world that make the program work, but he's one of very few who has flown more than 100 kids. 

"I get to share with them even for a brief 35 to 40 minutes what I've experienced all my life."

While the program exposes young people to something new, it also is producing actual pilots.  

Ellis said, "I know of some pilots who got their start with a Young Eagle ride, something to spark the interest and fan the flame."

Ellis told us the next free Young Eagles Demonstration rides will be in Greenville this spring and fall.  Dates have not been set yet, but more information will eventually be posted here.

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