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Local flying enthusiasts soar with free introductory flights at Spanish Fork Airport

Oct 03, 2019 07:03PM ● By Ed Helmick

Three local men, Michael Olsen, Tom Engelhardt, and Michael Scheetz, with a lifelong interest in flying, received free introductory flights in a small airplane in September at the Spanish Fork Airport.

The event was sponsored by the local EAA Chapter 753 and was titled a “First Flight Rally.” This was part of a national EAA initiative to promote “The Spirt of Aviation” and encourage new people to become pilots.

For many years EAA has provided free “Young Eagle” flights for youth under 18 years of age. This year they started a free introductory flight initiative for adults 18 and over. They call this program the “Flying Start First Flight Program.

The Saturday morning event included an EAA power point presentation by Chapter President Michael Duke on what is involved in getting an FAA private pilot certificate for various types of aircraft. Mike Hendran discussed flying gliders as an orientation to flying.

Both Michael and Tom took a turn flying in an American Champion 8KCAB Super Decathlon, an incredibly fun to fly tandem seat airplane. The plane was piloted by EAA member and Spanish Fork Airport Manager, Cris Child. Michael Scheetz’ flight was with EAA member Glenn Duffin in his Piper PA28 Cherokee. All three men had huge smiles as they climbed out of the airplane after their 45-minute flights. It looks like they are ready to start flight training, which was the purpose of the EAA first flight program.

At the First Flight Rally on Sept. 7 was Jeremiah Jones, who was one of the first to contact EAA about a First Flight opportunity. That was back in April and his free intro flight was in May. Since then, he has been enrolled in regular lessons at Pilot Makers Advanced Flight Academy. Jeremiah had his FAA private pilot practical exam, commonly known as a “checkride” scheduled for mid-September and will soon be an FAA certified private pilot. Jeremiah represents another success for the EAA First Flight Program.  

For more information about the EAA and local Chapter 753 contact Michael Duke at [email protected] (Helmick is a Serve Daily contributor.)