The Greater St. Louis Air and Space Museum hosted the 20th Annual Gateway Eagles Youth Aviation Day on Saturday, September 13th at the Museum’s location at St. Louis-Downtown Airport (CPS) in Cahokia, Illinois. The weather was excellent and with the fine organizational efforts of the Gateway Eagles, 116 children from 8 to 17 years of age flew, many for the first time, through the EAA Young Eagles flight program.
The Young Eagles program was developed by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) in 1992 with the intent of providing a flight experience to kids who might not otherwise be exposed to aviation and the joys of flying. Over 1.8 million kids have taken their free introductory flight through local EAA Chapters and groups like the Gateway Eagles. More information on the program is available at: EAA Young Eagles Program.
Gateway Eagles members provided their own aircraft, and along with the assistance of Southern Illinois University aircraft and pilots from both the Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses, the flying was completed by mid afternoon. One of the great benefits of flying out of St. Louis-Downtown Airport is that the flight route takes the kids along the St. Louis riverfront, and for many it’s a different and exciting view of the Arch, Busch Stadium and the St. Louis skyline.
The Gateway Eagles reach out to various youth groups to bring a variety of kids together for their Young Eagles flights. One group of students came all the way from St. Clair, MO to take their Young Eagle flights. The Gateway Eagles also set up an impressive set of activities for participants to do while waiting for their flight. The Airport’s Fire Department set up their Emergency Response vehicle for everyone to check out, and the crew demonstrated the reach of the vehicle’s water nozzles. Food was also available for attendees, and there were raffle prizes as well. Those not flying toured the Greater St. Louis Air and Space Museum and participated in related activities.
The Gateway Eagles would like to say thank you to the following for their help and support of the event:
The Corvette Club of St.Louis
Here are some scenes from the great day of flying: