Young Eagles Flight Rally in Granby features free airplane rides
The skies above Granby will be busy Friday as pilots from the local chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association take youngsters, ages 10 to 17, for a flight high above Grand County as part of the Young Eagles Flight Rally.
The rally starts at 8 a.m. sharp with registration for the child passengers. Flight orientation and the flights themselves will begin at 8:30 a.m. During the preflight briefing local pilots will spend some time in the classroom showing them the shape of aircraft wings and why they create lift, how rudders and stabilizers work and other features of airplanes and flight.
The rally is dependent on proper flying conditions. Friday, June 5, has already been scheduled as an alternate day for the rally if the weather is uncooperative this week.
The flights are free of charge and can be taken by any child aged 10 to 17 who has not previously ridden with the EAA Chapter 1267 pilots as part of a Young Eagles Flight Rally. The EAA Chapter has an extensive list of past participants so don’t expect another ride if you have already flown with them.
“The Young Eagles program is an attempt to introduce kids to flight and general aviation,” said Mark Harrington, Young Eagles Flight Rally coordinator and member of the local EAA Chapter. Harrington talked about the uniqueness of taking off and flying in a small aircraft.
“It is a different experience than getting in an airliner,” he said.
While on their flights Friday, some of the young participants will get the chance to take the stick of the plane and do a little bit of flying themselves.
“Depending on the particular kid and depending on the particular airplane we will occasionally let the kids take control of the yoke,” said Harrington.
A Young Eagles Flight Rally is held annually in the spring in both Granby and Kremmling by the local EAA chapter. They have also taken young passengers up for flights in the Steamboat Springs area.
Since beginning the rallies in the early part of the last decade the EAA Chapter has taken 631 kids on introductory flights. All expenses for the rally are paid for out of pocket by the local pilots who fly the children.
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Granby opened the town’s first ever ArtWalk on Thursday by commemorating the year anniversary of the East Troublesome Fire.