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Young Eagles Program Shines in Chicago’s Spotlight

  • Sean D. Tucker
    Sean D. Tucker gives student Malik Baker a Young Eagles flight to remember on August 14 before the Chicago Water and Air Show. Photo credit: Chicago Tribune

August 21, 2014 - When EAA Young Eagles Chairman Sean D. Tucker performs at an air show, he also takes the time to provide an area youth a Young Eagles flight. Last week in advance of the 56th Chicago Air and Water Show, Tucker took Chicago Public School student Malik Baker on a Young Eagles flight to remember in his Extra 300.

Not only was it Malik’s first ride in an airplane of any kind, but also he and Tucker were joined in flight by two U.S. Navy Blue Angels F-18s! Several Windy City media outlets took notice, providing the EAA Young Eagles program with widespread visibility.

WGN-TV aired a story about the flight on Thursday, August 14, and featured interviews with both Tucker and Baker. “I have 25,000 hours of flying time and whenever I get to share that magic of lifting off the ground on a magic carpet, it puts the world in a different perspective,” Tucker said.

An excited Malik said after the flight, “After today, I can see flying in my future.”

WBBM TV-2 also reported on the event, airing some of Malik’s comments recorded in-flight. “I love this, I love it,” he said.

“He was very comfortable in the sky,” Tucker told reporters. “He belongs there,” getting no argument from his passenger.

An air-to-air photo from the flight dominated the front page photo of the Chicago Tribune and another was included in its online gallery of the air show (see photo No. 26).

The Chicago Sun-Times ran several photos from the flight in an online gallery, and Reuters led its August 14 daily photo compilation with a photo from the flight on the Baltimore Sun website.

The City of Chicago’s official website also features a story and several photos from the flight.

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