The flights were offered though the Young Eagle program, sponsored
by the Experimental Aircraft Association. Pilots belonging to the
Bloomington and Freeport EAA chapters supplied airplanes and fuel
for the flights. (Young Eagles)
This was the fifth year that Heritage In Flight Museum hosted the
program at the Logan County Airport. The first Logan County Young
Eagles was in 2003:
"Young Eagles magic."
A few months ago Heritage In Flight board president Barry Miller
began brainstorming. Why don't we expand this a little and make it
bigger this year, he suggested. With the goal to provide youth with
more exposure, increase exposure to and interest in aviation, and
maybe attract more of the general public out to the airport, Airport
Daze was born.
Also attracting a lot of attention were the glider displays and
glider flight demonstrations by the Illini Glider Club from
Monticello. All day there were glider tow planes launching off the
northwest-southeast grass runway between Young Eagle flights taking
off on the northeast-southwest asphalt runway. Once they reached
altitude, the gliders were released, and they lazily descended like
butterflies over the field to the east.
The Civil Air Patrol youth and leaders were present to provide
assistance with directing ground traffic control and pedestrian
protection. CAP also had a display and representatives present to
explain the responsibility and character-building program for youth.
CAP's stated mission is to train youth as responsible citizens
through aviation and leadership. (Civil
Numerous displays were added for the day in and around the
Heritage In Flight hangar and museum. There was also an in-house
theater playing aviation-related movies.
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At the close of the Young Eagles, another attraction grabbed
everyone's attention. All heads turned to see the loud hum produced
by a World War II warbird, the Grumman TBF/TBM Avenger that just
flew in from St. Louis. The Avenger first buzzed the runway and then
returned for a spectacular landing. As pilot Clyde Zellers taxied
in, he stopped the aircraft. What happened next wowed the crowd. It
was almost like watching a science fiction movie as the aircraft's
wings folded up and in. This left it looking a little like some
When the day was done, everyone was satisfied with how it all
turned out. One pilot said she really enjoyed flying the kids. It
amazed her how they showed interest, thought a lot and asked great
A Lincoln High School student said she was surprised when she
first saw the inside of the airplane she was to ride in. It was one
of the sleek experimental aircraft. It was so small; there's little
room to get in or to move around, she said, but it was all right
once I was in. She was glad the pilot put the plane in a bank a
couple of times so that she could get some pictures out the sides.
Like most of the kids, she hadn't stopped smiling and said she loved
Displays were provided by the National Weather Service, Civil Air
Patrol, Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County, the Illini
Glider Club and the ham radio club operators.
In addition to appreciation to the above, Heritage In Flight
thanked the Logan County Board and the airport committee, EAA
members, CAP, Frank Musick, and Commemorative Air Force
of St. Charles, Mo.