2008-10-09 / Front Page

Free airplane rides for kids return to airport Saturday

Pilot Keith Donker of Evans will return to introduce "Young Eagles" to flight on Mule Day Saturday. Pilot Keith Donker of Evans will return to introduce "Young Eagles" to flight on Mule Day Saturday. Mule Day has one attraction that isn't old-fashioned: free airplane rides for kids.

In addition to all the kids' activities at Callaway Plantation, Chris Hughes, Washington-Wilkes airport operator, has arranged for EAA volunteer pilot, Keith Donker of Evans, to return for the third year to give "Young Eagles" plane flights to children and youth ages 8 to 17 starting at 10 a.m. at the airport across Highway 78 from Callaway.

"We really like to introduce kids to aviation, to spark their interest in flying," Hughes said, "Last year, Keith Donker gave more than 60 kids their first taste of flying, and we hope we can have even more that that this year."

The Experimental Aircraft Association has been sponsoring the Young Eagles flights for years, with individual pilots donating their time, aircraft, and gas to introduce kids to flight.

"This year, with aviation gas at $5.70 a gallon, the Washington Kiwanis Club, which volunteered last year, is co-sponsoring the event and covering half of the gas expense, and we really appreciate it," Hughes said.

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