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Watch Your Children Soar - Free youth flights at DeKalb's airport

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Unsplash.com - 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič
Child dressed as a pilot.

The DeKalb chapter of a national program that introduces children to aviation, is offering free flights Saturday, Sept. 17, for those ages 8 through 17.

The Young Eagles Program is run by members of the Experimental Aircraft Association.

Steven Klopfenstein, a pilot and the Young Eagles coordinator at chapter 241 in DeKalb, has worked with this program for 10 years.

“The kids are very excited. They're eager to do it,” he explained. “The parents are nervous and a little reluctant to stick their young child in a plane with a stranger and they watch that plane leave the earth.”

He says some children soar after their first introduction to flying.

“And you never know which one could lead into a career path or something like that,” he said. “We had one that one of our pilots flew about 15 or so years ago, and he's a naval aviator pilot, he was flying the F-35.”

Each of the five planes holds up to four people. Based on the pilot’s discretion, the child sitting in the front will have the opportunity to control the plane except during take off and land.

These 15-minute flights take place from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. at the DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport, 3232 Pleasant St. Preregistration is not required but parents will need to sign a permission form.

Yvonne covers artistic, cultural, and spiritual expressions in the COVID-19 era. This could include how members of community cultural groups are finding creative and innovative ways to enrich their personal lives through these expressions individually and within the context of their larger communities. Boose is a recent graduate of the Illinois Media School and returns to journalism after a career in the corporate world.