WOOD COUNTY W.Va, (WTAP)- The Experimental Aviation Association Chapter 915 hosted a Young Eagles rally on Saturday morning at the Mid- Ohio Valley Regional Airport.
“This is a program where we bring kids in and most of them have never been in an airplane and give them their first flight and they walk out onto the ramp with a little bit of fear in their eyes, they come back out of the airplane with a big smile on their face,” says Dick Smith, a member of the Experimental Aviation Association.
As the only program of its kind, the mission of the group is to introduce and inspire kids in the world of aviation.
“Mostly what they do is if you’re tall enough to reach the petals they take you up around Parkersburg and you actually get to fly the plane once they get it leveled out. if you can reach the petals and they’ll tell you what to do, how to do it like how to level it out and you can talk to each other with the mics,” excitedly explains Patrick Arnold, a program participant.
On Saturday, 5 airplanes took 30 kids on the ride of a lifetime.
“These kids- individuals, some of them will go on perhaps to be pilots. It’s a once in a lifetime experience for them to get that first flight and like I said they come back out of the airplane with a big smile on their face and never forget it,” says Smith.