Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Flying kids: "Sky's the Limit"

If you had taken a helicopter ride when you were young, how would it have changed your life?

I did it when I was fourteen, and it was such a thrill that two decades later I signed up for helicopter school.

I was reflecting on that the other day, and I had a little vision. What if there were some organization that gave helicopter rides to kids who would otherwise never have the opportunity? I thought: Perhaps every middle school could have an annual contest of some kind, maybe based on academic merit, and the winner got to go on a helicopter tour. A helicopter school could donate the heli time, and the pilot would be a volunteer. Now that would be cool. You could do it all over the country.

Can you imagine how exciting that would be for a kid? You could call it "Sky's the Limit," to capture the literal experience as well as the message that you can do whatever you can dream. Looks like SkysTheLimit.org is sitting unused right now.

I'm sure there are all kinds of legal and bureaucratic considerations, but the most important part is the idea, right?

Actually, I've been mulling the above for a few days, meaning to post about it. Then, a few minutes ago, while skimming through MyFlightBlog.com (the airplane blog that inspired this blog), I found a reference to Experimental Aircraft Association's Young Eagles program.

From the program's website:
The EAA Young Eagles program was launched in 1992 to give interested young people, ages 8 - 17, an opportunity to go flying in a general aviation airplane. These flights are offered free of charge and are made possible through the generosity of EAA member volunteers. [Read more...]
How about that! But forget airplanes. Pffff! Let's get 'em in helicopters. They are way cooler.

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