TOP PHOTO: Scouts with BSA Troop 435 worked on earning their Aviation Merit Badges at a weekend event hosted at Colonel Tommy C. Stiner Airfield.
By Charlotte Underwood
LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Area youth, along with BSA’s all female Troop 435 got the opportunity to fly on Saturday at the local Airport.
Around 20 kids participated in the event hosted through a partnership between the Experimental Air Craft Association’s Young Eagles and the Colonel Tommy C. Stiner Airfield.
The EAA Young Eagles program came to Campbell County to provide young people ages 8-17 the opportunity to go flying in a general aviation airplane. Since it’s beginning in 1992, the Young Eagles Program has “dedicated 30 years to giving youth their first ride in an airplane.”
According to BSA Troop 435 Leader Liz White, it was a “great opportunity for the scouts to experience flying” and provided a means to work towards their aviation merit badges.
“The pilots who participated are local members of EAA who are volunteering their time and aircraft to make this unique experience available to youth in our community,” White said.
Participants attended a flight school on the ground learning information about aviation before taking to the air.
“The pilots did such a thorough job explaining how airplanes work, describing the interior of the plane including the instrument panel, and allowing participants to look at charts. The best part was getting to go flying!” White said.
Over 20 youth were in attendance at the event, with a majority of them from BSA Troop 435.
Participating in the flight event gave scouts the opportunity to accomplish some of the requirements for their Aviation Merit Badge.
Accorrding to White, the goal of the Young Eagles Program is to “encourage young people to explore the possibilities that aviation has to offer.”
“It was so cool to see the faces of the young ladies when they came off their flight. They were nervous and hesitant getting on the plane, but when they came off they looked ready to conquer the world. I hope this flight helps boost their confidence and shows them there’s no limits to what they can do,” White said.
The Young Eagles Program was brought to Campbell County by EAA Chapter 17 Knoxville, partnering with Colonel Tommy C. Stiner Airfield.
White and Troop 435 said they wanted to extend a a “huge thanks to Chapter 17, all the pilots, and Airport Manager Bert Loupe.” (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 06/20/2023-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF LIZ WHITE)