CLEARWATER — Area youngsters between the ages 8 and 17 will take to the skies on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon as the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter 282 hosts a Young Eagles Flight Rally at Clearwater Airpark, 1000 N. Hercules Ave.
The rally is part of the EAA Young Eagles Program, created to interest young people in aviation. Since the program launched in 1992, volunteer EAA pilots have flown more than 1.8 million young people in more than 90 countries.
"Free airplane rides are just part of the flight rally," said Bob Flynn, spokesman for the event. "We hope to build one-to-one relationships among pilots and young people, giving a new generation a chance to learn more about the possibilities that exist in the world of aviation."
Pilots at the event will also explain more about their airplanes, allowing young people to discover how airplanes work and how pilots ensure safety before every flight. Following the flight, each young person will receive a certificate making them an official Young Eagle. Their name will then be entered into the "World's Largest Logbook," which is on permanent display at the EAA Air Adventure Museum in Oshkosh, WI. The logbook is also accessible online at youngeagles.org.
Other activities scheduled for the flight rally include listening to the pilot's briefing prior to flying, monitoring the aircraft in flight via radio, and touring a hangar where an aerobatic airplane is being built by members of EAA Chapter 282.
Snacks, coffee, cold drinks, and other items will be available for a small donation.
Registration begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 11. The first 50 participants to register will qualify for a flight. Flights begin at 9 a.m. and continue until noon.
If a change in the weather causes the event to be canceled, officials will communicate the cancellation through its website at eaa282.org by 5 p.m. Friday. The rain date is Sunday.
For other information about this event, contact Bob Flynn Young Eagles Coordinator at (727) 458-4420 or visit eaa.org or eaa282.org.