Tisdale Young Eagles take to the sky

FTLComm - Tisdale - Wednesday, April 21, 2004

This past Saturday was for thirty-five young people a lifetime experience in the making as the Tisdale Flying Club organised this great project. Members of the club volunteered their time and aircraft while several community minded sponsors provided the fuel to take some young people for a plane ride.

This Cessna 152 belongs to Harold and Wayne Yung who operate a flying service at Nipawin. I have rented this particular 152 with its fighter pilot seat belts and very light wing loading. The 152 is used extensively as a trainer with

outstanding handling characteristics. This version is certified for aerobatics but the Young Eagle's programme is not a thrill ride but an opportunity for a young person to experience flight in a small general aviation aircraft.

Though the idea is to give the person the chance to experience flight for the individual it lets them discover if flight is something that will interest them because knowing what you don't like is perhaps more important than what you like.

The Young Eagles programme is a project of the EAA

(Experimental aircraft association). This organisation with chapters all over the world and head quartered in Oshkosh Wisconsin set as their goal to get a million young people into a flight before the 100th anniversary of Wilbur and Orville Wright's historical first powered flight at Kitty Hawk December 16, 1903.

The honourary chairman of the Young Eagle's programme is none other than the World War II fighter pilot ace and the man who broke the sound barrier, Chuck Yeager (below seen in July at the Oshkosh EAA conference). In his speech to members of the conference he spoke eloquently about the importance of the Young Eagle's programme. He was in the

cockpit steadily all summer and fall personally taking young people on their Young Eagle flights.

For the lad who's name appears on the certificate above this is how his flight began as the Cessna 172 taxied out onto the active and lifted off into the gray skies of this Tisdale morning. Fortunately, the precipitation held off until most of the Young Eagles got their turn in the sky.

Departure in a 172 gives you the experience that replicates the activity of most general aviation and pilots as the Cessna 172 is the most popular and plentiful aircraft of all time. Its tapered wings and gentle flight characteristics make it the ideal plane in which to experience powered flight for the first time.

The wind was coming right down the runway making for perfect approach and landing conditions. The 152 reacts to turbulence

with some vigour and this pilot was making a perfect 20º flap approach and touch down. Interestingly enough to achieve smooth flight like this a pilot can keep those wings level best with judicious use of the large and authoritative rudder.

Once over the button a gentle reduction of power will ease the machine onto the surface with minimum bounce. Most experienced Cessna pilots learn to cheat just a bit by adding just a tad of throttle as the wheels are a foot or two above the runway and the nose eases upward into a flare turning a flying machine into a ground vehicle once more.

Below is a fabric covered tandem seating 1975 Bellanca 7KCAB fully aerobatic aircraft known as a Citabria, with its 150 horse power engine and spruce spares in its wings. This is actually a commercial aircraft used for banner towing but is one of the aircraft of choice for forest patrol capable of slow speed and outstanding manners. What an outstanding first flight for anyone in an aircraft that is of a design that is almost seventy years old. (Aircraft
like this sell for $66,000)

Timothy W. Shire


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Editor : Timothy W. Shire
Faster Than Light Communication
Box 1776, Tisdale, Saskatchewan, Canada, S0E 1T0
306 873 2004