EAA, SWRFI Provide Big Day For Texas Boy Scouts
March 21 , 2007 — They say everything is bigger in Texas, and that apparently applies to Young Eagle events, too. Volunteer EAA pilots, including several from EAA's Southwest Regional Fly-In (Texas Fly-In), provided nearly 600 Boy Scouts with Young Eagle flights during the third annual Hondo Aviation Day and EAA Young Eagles Aviation Merit Badge weekend on Saturday, March 17. The combination campout/aviation merit badge weekend was held at SWRFI's home Hondo Municipal Airport and brought participating scouts one step closer to becoming Eagle Scouts.
EAA Chapter 35 Young Eagle Coordinator Brad Doppelt (EAA 586777) organized the Young Eagle flights, allowing a total of 591 scouts to receive flights in 26 airplanes. More than 906 scouts attended the program, along with help from about 100 volunteers.
The scouts rotated among five different stations throughout the day, including four aviation class sessions for the merit badge requirements. Sessions included Aircraft Technology, taught by John Siemens (EAA 743531), chief test pilot at Sino Swearingen Aircraft Corp.; Aviation History, taught by retired Brig. Gen. Julius Braun, USAF (EAA 6386); Models and Wind Tunnels, taught by NASA's Elaine Stephens; and Static Aircraft Orientation, Maj. Roch LaRocca, USAF (EAA 531536).
The aircraft on static display included a Sino-Swearingen SJ-30; a Rans S-18 Stinger; and a Van's RV-9.
"Our third annual Hondo Aviation Day was a great success because we surrounded ourselves with great support," said event Chairman John Latour (EAA 28605), of EAA Chapter 35. "We put together so many good people in key positions, you can't miss."