January 10, 2013 - On September 2, 1995, 8-year-old Bradley Bormuth of Morganton, North Carolina, went on a Young Eagles flight with his dad, Al, in his Cessna 210. Eight years later - on his 16th birthday - Bradley soloed. The following year, he passed his checkride and started giving Young Eagles flights.
Fast-forward to last Saturday, January 5, 2013: Bradley, EAA 423388/Vintage Aircraft Association 718400, took youngster Jeremiah Ford up in the family Cessna 172, marking his 500th Young Eagles flight. He truly has come full circle.
Bradley fondly recalled that first flight with his father as the spark that ignited his lifelong passion for flight. "We went up in the 210, I was sitting in the right seat, and Dad let me fly the airplane," he recalled. "We flew right over our house."
Al would also take his son to the local grass airstrip to see the World War II warbirds that flew there. "I always enjoyed that - especially the pilots who flew the old warbirds," Bradley said. "They were fascinating."
Bradley, who makes his living as a CFI operating at Hickory Municipal Airport (HKY), has served Chapter 731 as Young Eagles coordinator, vice president, and this month takes over as president.
One of his aims is to get more people, young and old, involved in aviation. Long before the Eagle Flights program launched last year, he would engage parents of kids who attended the chapter's Young Eagles rallies and make them realize that they can do this!
Bradley is also involved in the local Aviation Explorers Post, serving as an adviser. Each year he accompanies a group of scouts who come to AirVenture to volunteer, work, and camp at the Explorer Base Camp. Bradley has volunteered at Oshkosh since 1995.
A VAA member since 2005, Bradley was part of a project to restore a Fairchild 24 during his senior year in high school.