‘I’ve never felt any­thing like it’

Young fly­ing en­thu­si­asts in­tro­duced to small craft avi­a­tion at EAA rally in Hillaton

Annapolis Valley Register - - CLASSIFIEDS CLASSIFIEDS - BY KIRK STARRATT KINGSCOUNTYNEWS.CA Kirk.starratt@kingscountynews.ca

Hav­ing an op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence the thrill of avi­a­tion in a small air­craft was some­thing they won’t soon for­get.

24 young peo­ple rang­ing in age from eight to 17 got to go fly­ing for 15 to 20 min­utes for free as Chap­ter 1051 of the Ex­per­i­men­tal Air­craft As­so­ci­a­tion (EAA) hosted a Young Ea­gles rally at the Kings Aero­drome on Saxon Street in Hillaton on June 9.

11-year-old Ben West flew in a Cessna 172 pi­loted by Robert Rowe. He said it was a great ex­pe­ri­ence. He said you could feel the force of the wind, the turns and the vi­bra­tions com­ing from the mo­tor in the small air­craft. West said he had never flown in a small air­plane like the Cessna be­fore.

“It was su­per cool, I’ve never felt any­thing like it,” West said. “It was a lit­tle bit scary at first but once I’d been in the air for a lit­tle bit it was just re­ally, re­ally fun and su­per amaz­ing. We even flew over my house.”

EAA Chap­ter 1051 pres­i­dent Ger­ard Kil­lam said the rally was the first they’ve held in sev­eral years. He said the chap­ter was rel­a­tively in­ac­tive for a few years, es­pe­cially around the time the Kings County mu­nic­i­pal air­port in Water­ville was closed.

“Now we have this re­ally nice fa­cil­ity here and our chap­ter is based here now,” Kil­lam said.

He said the idea be­hind the rally is to in­tro­duce chil­dren to light air­planes and avi­a­tion in gen­eral, hope­fully in­spir­ing Eden, Ade­laide and Mila Mcgreevy of Med­ford were among the chil­dren who got to go fly­ing for free at the Ex­per­i­men­tal Fly­ing As­so­ci­a­tion Chap­ter 1051 Young Ea­gles rally at the Kings Aero­drome in Hillaton.

them in the process. Kil­lam said peo­ple, es­pe­cially kids, who have never ex­pe­ri­enced fly­ing in a small air­plane of­ten get up in the air and re­al­ize that “this is one of most ex­cit­ing things that you can do.” Some go on to have a ca­reer in avi­a­tion of some sort, in the mil­i­tary, as a fly­ing in­struc­tor or com­mer­cial pi­lot.

Kil­lam said that when he was 10 or 11 years old, there was a fel­low fly­ing a small, two-seat air­plane out of a small hay field not

far from his home in Woodville. The man charged $3 a per­son to go fly­ing for 10 or 15 min­utes.

“I talked my mother and father into cough­ing up the three bucks, which was a lot of dol­lars in those days,” Kil­lam said, point­ing out that his par­ents also gave his sis­ter and brother $3 each so they could go fly­ing too.

Kil­lam de­scribed the ex­pe­ri­ence as “amaz­ing” and “mag­i­cal.” He said that “once I got up in the air, within 10 min­utes I knew

that I wanted to learn to fly and that was it.”

He said chil­dren had to pre­reg­is­ter for the rally and all 24 spots filled up. Kil­lam said they might be able to take more at fu­ture events, de­pend­ing on the avail­abil­ity of pi­lots and air­craft. They had four small air­planes and a he­li­copter lined up for the June 9 event. Over­all, since the EAA’S Young Ea­gles ini­tia­tive be­gan about 20 years ago, Kil­lam said al­most two mil­lion young

peo­ple have gone fly­ing.

Kil­lam said the Young Ea­gles is a fun ini­tia­tive for club mem­bers to be in­volved in. Chil­dren who par­tic­i­pate can get a log book to record their flights and a oneyear mem­ber­ship in the Young Ea­gles.

He said that, as far as he knows, EAA Chap­ter 1051 is the only ex­per­i­men­tal air­craft as­so­ci­a­tion east of Que­bec.


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