Volunteer pilots fly 38 “Young Eagles” at Santa Monica Airport

Three times a year, the local chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA Chapter

#11) invites local organizations to participate in Young Eagles Day by registering interested

youth ages 8 thru 17 years old for a first flight in a small airplane. Kids learn about what makes

an airplane fly and are taken on a 20-minute flight to allow them to see their local area from a

different perspective.

“One of our missions as a non-profit organization is to encourage local youth to explore science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by introducing them to flight on Young Eagles Day at Santa Monica Airport,” said Dominic Cerniglio, this year’s chapter president. “On October 1st, our volunteer pilots flew 38 local kids. Over the past 25 years, EAA chapters around the world have given more than 2 million rides to kids on Young Eagles Days.”

Participants come from local scout troops, schools and other youth organizations. Many

teachers and youth leaders use the exciting promise of a first flight to introduce educational

material about aviation and how it requires the practical application of engineering, math and

science skills. The combination of ground based lessons and a first flight often ignites the

imaginations of the young participants. Many have gone on to careers in science and aviation.

More Young Eagles program information is available online at

  • Submitted by Joe Bates