Event Coincided With International Learn To Fly Day
The Dalworth, TX Chapter of the EAA gave about three dozen area kids airplane rides Saturday during a Young Eagles Rally at Arlington Municipal Airport. "This is a pay-it-forward type of program," said Brandon Gordon, president of EAA chapter 34. "Unless you're in a family that has a pilot, you probably don't make it to the airport that often. We've had a couple of students ask for membership applications. Young Eagles don't have their own planes, obviously, but it gives them a chance to come hang out with us."
Arlington Municipal Airport manager Karen VanWinkle said that attracting younger generations to aviation is important because a coming wave of retirements in the next decade, coupled with the military's preference for holding on to its pilots longer. The end result could be that the industry might soon face a shortage of pilots, air traffic controllers, administrators and ground personnel.
The Arlington Citizen Journal reported that Rick Raesz, one of the pilots giving rides Saturday said The EAA’s Dalworth chapter 34 was formed in 1956 and focuses on positive awareness of general aviation and aircraft education and safety. Children getting airplane rides receive a logbook in which to record their memories and a certificate to put on the refrigerator.
Three fliers on hand belonged to Boy Scout Troop 5 in Arlington, and used the flight to complete the requirements for the aviation merit badge. Alex and Drew McKee and their friend Jacob Davis were among the youths to take advantage of the perfect day for flying.