GREENWOOD – Kids interested in learning what it’s like to fly an airplane are invited to take a free ride Saturday.
The Wonder Lake and Greenwood-area chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association, or EAA, is hosting a Young Eagles Rally from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Galt Airport in Greenwood.
Children between ages 8 and 17 can register to take a short ride around McHenry County and learn firsthand what it’s like to fly.
“We want to get them fired up about the whole concept of aviation, whether it’s ground crew work or flying” said Pam Hack, Young Eagles coordinator.
Volunteers with EAA Chapter 932 will pilot the rides, which will last between 15 and 20 minutes. They will fly light aircraft, which Hack said could be anything from “a Cessna 172 to a Cherokee 180.”
These airplanes typically seat one to three passengers.
Hack said the pilots had a short route to follow, but often would customize the trip.
“Sometimes the pilot will fly over the youngster’s house,” Hack said. “You can’t do that on a commercial airline.”
After the ride, the fliers receive a Young Eagles certificate. Their flight is recorded in a national registry run by the EAA, based in Oshkosh, Wis. They also go home with a packet about aviation.
Throughout the day kids and their families also will be able to take tours of the airport grounds.
The event and airplane rides are free. Any children between ages 8 and 17 may participate in the ride, but parents must sign a waiver before their child can go up in the air.
All the airplanes and pilots are certified and licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Fliers must register in advance with Hack by calling her at 815-575-4225. Registration forms are available at www.eaa932.org/youngeagles.html.
Fliers are advised to wear shoes and comfortable clothes, such as T-shirts and jeans or shorts, and should arrive at the airport by 11 a.m.
The rally is weather permitting. If it’s raining, attendants should assume it has been postponed and can call Hack to learn of the new date.
If you go:
What: Young Eagles Rally, sponsored by EAA Chapter 932 and Galt Airport. Event features free tours of Galt Airport and airplane rides for youth.
When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14
Where: Galt Airport, 5112 Greenwood Road, Greenwood