MASON CITY, Iowa – Dozens of north Iowa kids learned how to fly this weekend.
It was the annual Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Young Eagle Rally at the Mason City Municipal Airport.
More than 150 kids ages 8 to 17 years old came out for the event on Saturday where they learned all about the ins and outs of general aviation.
The day kicked off with ground school where those in attendance were taken on a walking tour around an aircraft to learn about the different parts of a plane.
Tom Barter, the EAA Chapter 94 president, says that these ground school courses are helpful not only so kids can learn about the different parts of a plane, but also the science behind what makes the planes fly.
“It’s just a good time” Barter says. “With the emphasis we have any more on STEM, besides an airplane ride we give these kids a little bit of a technical education.”
Following the ground school, groups of kids were taking on a free ride in one of the private aircraft carriers.
Barter says that while the turnout for the event was a little lower than it has been in the past, the excitement and enthusiasm the kids have when they get back from their free ride is something he will always cherish.
The idea of events like this is to first and foremost, educate the general public about planes and aviation, but Barter says his personal goal is to get at least a couple of kids interested enough in aviation to continue their education outside of the rally.
“Besides an airplane ride, we are looking at helping these kids understand a little bit about what aviation is about and giving them a little bit of a chance to actually see hands on what we do,” Barter says.
For more information on the Young Eagle Rally, or the EAA Chapter 94 in Mason City, check out there website by clicking here, EAA Chapter 94.