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Skiles Kicks Off Skycatcher/Young Eagles Tour in Missouri, Tennessee

The opening weekend of Young Eagles Co-Chairman Jeff Skiles’ Skycatcher tour is in the books, and what a weekend it was! The first two stops - March 19, at St. Charles County Smart Field near St. Louis, and Sunday, March 20, at Lebanon Municipal Airport, Tennessee - saw more than 250 Young Eagles get flights. St. Louis Chapter 32 joined Skiles in flying about 100 kids Saturday and about 150 more flew with Chapter 863 members on Sunday.

Skiles met with chapter members, spoke with the kids, and flew several Young Eagles in a Cessna Skycatcher - the grand prize in this year’s EAA Share the Spirit Sweepstakes. EAA President/CEO Rod Hightower also joined Skiles in St. Louis with his Stearman biplane.

This weekend the tour will visit Columbia, South Carolina’s Jim Hamilton L.B. Owens Airport (KCUB) on Saturday, March 26, and Spruce Creek Airport (7FL6) in the Daytona Beach, Florida area on Sunday, March 27, before proceeding on to Lakeland for the Sun ’n Fun Fly-In at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport.

The four-stop aircraft tour gives special visibility to the Young Eagles program, which was recently highlighted for the important role Young Eagles plays in creating the next generation of aviators.

“This is a grand adventure, flying and inspiring young people through EAA’s Young Eagles program,” said Skiles, who co-chairs Young Eagles with Captain Sully Sullenberger. “Flying the Cessna Skycatcher adds to the fun of this journey, as we have the opportunity to create the next generation of aviators and tell people about the wonderful world of flight and possibilities that exist for all of us in the sky.”

To enter the drawing for the Skycatcher, visit EAA’s sweepstakes website. Those in Lakeland can also visit the EAA exhibit to enter. The drawing takes place on the last day of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2011, July 31.

You can follow the Skiles Skycatcher Tour this weekend on Facebook.

Watch as Jeff Skiles and Chapter 32 Vice President Bill Doherty are interviewed Saturday morning, March 19, on Channel 2 in St. Louis.

Take a ride with EAA Young Eagles Co-Chairman Jeff Skiles

Video by EAA Multimedia Journalist Brady Lane

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