Young Eagles

Dick Harpster  makes certain all the information is correct for Lexus and Infinity Campbell as they prepare to board Don Cryer’s plane for their first flight.

Dick Harpster makes certain all the information is correct for Lexus and Infinity Campbell as they prepare to board Don Cryer’s plane for their first flight. Photo by Andy Towle. |

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Eighty-five youths turned out for the free airplane orientation flights at the Payson Airport Saturday.

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Retired Air Force Major General Jim Hunt makes certain that Eve Armstrong is securely buckled in before they take off during the Young Eagles event at the Payson Airport, Saturday, Oct. 2.

Along with the youths there were 32 volunteers and 14 airplanes involved in the hands-on experience for those in the 13-17 age bracket who got to fly a plane during the event, says pilot Robert Henley. Younger attendees got a free flight also.

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Robert Henley takes off for another flight with a first-time flier in his butterfly tail plane.

Jeff Skiles was on hand to talk with the youths individually and in groups as they were introduced to the fun of flying and also as a possible career. Phillips 66 gave each of the pilots taking part in the orientation flights a full fill-up for only 66 cents.

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Rory Hanson, center, and Jim Semrad push and pull Hanson’s plane into line for another flight with a Young Eagle. Jeff Skiles, the co-pilot during the miracle landing on the Hudson, was the guest of honor at the event.

“It was priceless to see the kids enjoy themselves,” Henley said.

He said the parents were just as excited as the youths taking part in the free flights, which was good to see.

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