Sunday, November 6, 2016

Dozens of students take flight over Louisville and find a passion for aviation

LOUISVILLE, Ky.  (WDRB) -- Sparking an interest in aviation. That’s what happened at Bowman Field on Saturday morning as dozens of young fliers took to the sky to see if becoming a pilot is in their future.

“Keep going, keep going. Alright pull back for me nice and easy, we’re in the air,” said Ben Stivers, a flight instructor for Louisville Aviation as he directed one participant.

The day was an introduction into aviation and a passion that could turn into something more.

“I am going flying, yup,” Kyle Sokol exclaimed.

“I'm really excited for this. I think it's going to be really fun,” Colin Roark echoed.

“We, in some point of our lives are going to be flying so this is something ahead to be prepared in what you're going to do in the future,” Damian Fuentes said.

The Young Eagles Program put on by the Experimental Aircraft Association took about 40, 8 to 17-year-olds flying in a small plane, most of them for the first time in their lives.

“Most of the kids are a little scared. Especially on take-off, that's when it gets really loud for the first time,” Stivers said.

“I'm excited, nervous at the same time. It's just a whole new experience,” Sokol said.

“But most reactions are pretty positive, they really like it for the most part,” Stivers added.

He said it gets even better for them once they get up into the sky and actually get their hands on the controls and can see different landmarks.

“I want to see downtown and maybe the Ohio River,” Sokol said.

“I think it would be pretty cool to see my house,” Roark added.

“Side to side up and almost down, you could see everything,” David Conder said.

And some are so mesmerized, they’re speechless. But by the end of each 15 minute flight, they've become naturals.

“The usual response when they come back is a smile, a grin from ear to ear,” said Gary Graham, the EAA Young Eagle Coordinator for local chapter 110.

While the middle and high school students may have landed, they're still on cloud nine by the end of the day.

“It was unimaginable, it was great,” said Kevin Sokol. “I would love to be a pilot.”

Several pilots donated their time and planes to make the day possible, even paying for the fuel so that it wouldn't cost the kids a penny.

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