MT. VERNON — —
David Stiff of Mt. vErnon has been honored for giving more than 200 young people a free demonstration airplane ride as part of the Experimental Aircraft Association's Young Eagles program.
According to information from the EAA Aviation Center in Oshkosh, Wis., Stiff is among more than 45,000 pilots around the world who have donated their time and their aircraft to help young people experience airplane flight.
"All pilots in the Young Eagles program explain the safe operation of airplanes and principles of flight before the short trips," information from EAA states. "Young Eagles flights are provided by volunteer EAA-member pilots in aircraft ranging from the newest airplanes to vintage biplanes. Such interest aircraft as gliders, helicopters and even hot air balloons and blimps have also been used for Young Eagles flights."
Many of the local Young Eagle flights take place during the annual EAA Fly-In at the Mt. Vernon Outland Airport. Last year saw visitors attend the 16th annual installment of the popular air show. Airport Manager Chris Collins, has previously said approximately 300 youngsters are given free flights each year at the airport through the Young Eagles program.
Stiff joins other members of the local EAA Chapter who have been honored for offering the free flights to more than 200 youth. In 2009, the EAA honored Rodney Mullinax of Texico for the honor.
Young people participating in the flights become official Young Eagles, with the names of the pilots and the participants included in the "World's Largest Logbook" that is on permanent display at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wis., and online through the Young Eagles website.