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Learn to Fly

Racine is a great place to learn to fly, where teens and adults learn every year to leave the earth and soar above the clouds. Listed below are some of the youth programs available at Racine Airport. Adults can select an instructor from the next page, and together make a program that fits your schedule.

Local Racine Youth Programs

 Aviation Explorer Club (AEC) – Maintain the interest in aviation germinated by Young Eagles flights  (Contact: Jerry Baker at mgb13@wi.rr.com)

AEC is a co-ed Junior Exploring program with the Boy Scouts of America program. It began in the chapter a few years ago under the name Young Aviation Enthusiasts and is targeted at kids age 11-13 who had participated in Young Eagle flights. Kids, accompanied by a parent, participate in bi-weekly 2- hour sessions April to November. Last year the programs included classroom and hanger sessions, demonstrations, model aircraft construction and flying, tours of the 128th Refueling Wing and a Control Tower, a day at AirVenture Oshkosh, plus both planning and flying a cross-country flight.

 Aviation Explorer Post 218 – An informative and fun way to help prepare for your future

(Contact kensack@yahoo.com)

Sponsored by EAA 838, Explorer Post 218 is the chapter’s oldest youth oriented program. Co-ed and open to ages 14 – 21, Post 218 is a subsidiary of Boy Scouts of America, so goals & programs are similar to what you expect in a Boy or Girl Scout troop. However, there is an emphasis on aviation and providing opportunities for leadership experiences. The post has meetings and activities throughout the year, but the highlight is a week of very active participation at AirVenture Oshkosh (www.aviationexplorerbase.com).

EAA Young Eagles (YE) – Youth’s Portal to Aviation – Where Dreams Take Flight  (www.youngeagles.org)

Open to all kids aged 8-17, this program involves taking the child for a 1/2 hour flight, totally at the pilot’s expense. The program got its start when EAA 838 chapter member, the late Sam Johnson, donated $1 million to the national EAA organization with the challenge to fly one million children before the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers’ first flight. Sam also flew kids and made presentations to them in our YE ground school classes. In EAA 838 we have Young Eagles flights on the 2nd Saturday of each month from March through November weather permitting. Our local program includes a ground school to teach the technologies of flight while kids wait to be matched with a pilot that day. To date EAA 838 members have flown 3,608 kids. Many kids we fly come in scout troops, or simply walk in on the day with a parent. A YE day in EAA 838 was filmed for TV  click here).

Young Aviators (YA) – Lighting the spark of interest in STEM (www.young-aviators.com)

Now in its fifth year, the YA program uses a week of hands-on flying, fabricating, and instruction to get teens age 14 – 18 (precollege) interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Daily flights in the left seat with a professional flying instructor in the right seat. Similar sessions on a simulator, allow the participants to log time towards a Private Pilot’s License. Daily workshop sessions introduce them to tools necessary to cut, shape and rivet an aircraft wing component, and classroom lessons introduce them to the physics and chemistry of flight, plus navigation. Classes on weather at both the cockpit and the cause & effect levels (i.e. the underlying sciences). Logistics limit the YA program to just 12 kids each year. The cost of the program is ~$2500 per student, but local donations make the tuition $795, Young Aviators is a separate and independent 501c(3) corporation from EAA 838.

Imagine the pride and joy of learning to fly. The beatuy of lake Michigan's shore line from above.

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