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7:02 PM Thu, Nov. 15th

Dreams of Flight: Young Eagles rally gives children the opportunity to flex their wings

A Cirrus SR22 is one of the planes children will get to fly during the Young Eagles rally Saturday. The aircraft above is owned by Paul Gaines. (Photo by Vanessa Espinoza/Daily Miner)

A Cirrus SR22 is one of the planes children will get to fly during the Young Eagles rally Saturday. The aircraft above is owned by Paul Gaines. (Photo by Vanessa Espinoza/Daily Miner)

Children start dreaming of what they want to be in life at an early age. They dream of being firefighters, astronauts, and doctors. Some dream about having wings and flying, but not like a bird, more like a pilot.

Children have the opportunity to soar through the clouds sooner rather than later.

The Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 765 is hosting the Young Eagles rally Saturday where young people ages 8 to 18 have the chance to learn about aviation and fly in a plane for free.

EAA has flown over 1,400 children in Mohave County and hopes to increase that number this year.

Dave Amspocer, Young Eagles coordinator, is one of the pilots who will be flying the aviation enthusiasts. He said the program is important for children because it gives them something else to do and shows them there’s more to life.

After flying a child during one of the events, Amspocer said he ran into the child’s mother, who told him it wasn’t a struggle to get her son out of bed the following Monday morning.

“‘He got up that morning and said it was the best weekend ever. I know what I want to do now. I want to be a pilot,’” the boy’s mom said to Amspocer.

The older children have as much fun during this event as the little ones. Amspocer said one of the children he has flown is now in the Air Force ROTC program at Northern Arizona University.

“He wants to fly F35 Raptors and I told him ‘don’t forget who gave you your first airplane ride,’” Amspocer said. “Because I want to fly in a raptor.”

He’s seen many children doubt themselves when it came to controlling the plane, but at the end of the experience, Amspocer said they want to go again.

Children will learn about the basics of flying, controlling the aircraft and the four elements a pilot controls during a flight.

Amspocer said the best thing about having this event is seeing the smiles come over the faces of the as they experience something new.

The event is from 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Saturday at 4560 Flightline Drive, and a parent or guardian’s permission is required.

EAA would like to thank its sponsors, Little Eagle Preschool and Daycare, Kingman Transportation, Nelson Insurance, Innovative Stoneworks & Landscaping, and Mohave State Bank.