Teen Takes Milestone Young Eagle Flight in L-39 Albatros

Volunteer pilots of EAA Chapter 40 at Whiteman Airport have flown more than 10,000 Young Eagle flights.

On Saturday November 26 Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 40 based out of Whiteman Airport (KWHP) in southern California hit an important milestone: the volunteer pilots flew their 10,000th Young Eagle. The chapter has been providing Young Eagle flights for 30 years.

Young Eagles is a national program designed to give free flight experiences to children ages 8-17. Pilots volunteer for these events which are held all over the country, often spending all day at the airport providing 20 minute flights to the participants.

On November 26 some 140 children were signed up to fly. According to a statement from EAA Chapter 40, pilots came from as far away as Santa Barbara to help, making sure that  every child present would get a ride. Among the airplanes participating were a Van’s RV-7, a Grumman American Tiger, a Cessna 182, a Navion, and a Rutan Varieze.

Young Eagle lucky number 10,000 was 16-year-old Elicia Koehnlein, a member of the local Aviation Explorers post. Koehnlein, wearing a borrowed flight suit and helmet, had the opportunity to fly in an L-39 Albatros owned and piloted by Denis Oliver, the founder of Jet 1—a civilian fighter jet world championship where pilots fly real fighter-jets in a laser tag battle with gamers—and a member of EAA Chapter 40.

The Aero L-39 Albatros is a high-performance jet trainer designed and produced in the Czech Republic.

Rally organizers noted the event would not have happened were it note for the entire EAA Chapter 40 Staff with the association of James Miller, Civil Air Patrol Commander, the Whiteman CAP, plus the Whiteman Air Explorers.

At KWHP, the Young Eagles rallies are held every fourth Saturday, weather permitting, beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Whiteman Airport sits on 184 acres in the San Fernando Valley. The airport traces its heritage to 1946, when businessman Marvin Whiteman Sr. developed an airpark. The facility became property of the county of Los Angeles in 1970 and today, the towered airport is a reliever for Los Angeles International (KLAX).

To Find A Young Eagles Flight

To find a Young Eagles Flight near you, visit youngeaglesday.org. The page contains information about Young Eagles flights provided by EAA chapters around the country. To find the one closest to you, input your zip code. Advanced registration is recommended.


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