Airport Day will give kids a flying chance to become Young Eagles

PORT ANGELES -Saturday's third annual Airport Day and Fly In will be a “hands on” experience for many North Olympic Peninsula youngsters.

It will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at William R. Fairchild International Airport and is being held in conjunction with the Clallam County Fair. Admission and parking are free.

In addition to the displays of a U.S. Coast Guard rescue helicopter, experimental, antique and even model aircraft, young people aged 7-17 will have the opportunity to become Young Eagles.

The Young Eagles program started in 1993 with the primary goal of introducing young people to aviation.

Experienced volunteer pilots take the youths on their first small airplane ride. Many even get to fly the plane for a while, as pilots talk them through some simple — and safe — manuevers.

“The youngsters actually do fly the airplane, the pilots talk them through it. I have to tell the parents, ‘No, he really did fly it. He's not fibbing you,”‘ said local pilot Alan Barnard.

“You get more out of it than they do.”

Rite Brothers Aviation will offer $10 scenic flights to parents so they can fly alongside their children and see what the fliers are seeing.

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