Local Pilot Roger Smith is seen here with Young Eagles from the 2017 Young Eagles Rally. The event is Saturday, but parents and guardians must register today. Courtesy photo
YOUNG EAGLE News:
The father of local resident Will Fox was a pilot and wanted to be an astronaut when he was younger. Today he also is a pilot and this Saturday hopes to inspire area children to fly, too.
Today, Oct. 5 is the last chance to register for the FREE Young Eagles Rally at the Los Alamos Airport for kids ages 8-17 years old.
This Saturday, local pilots will take to the skies to provide local youth with a bird’s eye view of their local community and inspire the future pilots of America.
Fox has flown the Young Eagles for years at the local rally, and two years ago even allowed one of those youngsters to use his plane for their senior pictures. Today that young man is pursuing a degree in aviation science at ENMU.
“I started flying ultralights when I was in my early thirties,” Fox said. “Ultralights are single seaters so you basically teach yourself how to fly.”
That plane taught him a lot about the basics of flying and flying by the seat of his pants. Flying an ultralight does not require a pilot’s license or a medical certificate. It is inexpensive buy and operate, which offers an entry into flying that is open to almost anyone.
That beginning led Fox to now fly much bigger and faster aircraft and he now teaches flying as a Certified Flight Instructor. He also builds experimental aircraft, which he flies today.
“I am a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association, and as a Technical Counselor and Flight Advisor I help others build, test, and learn to fly their own experimental aircraft,” Fox said. “Aviation is a passion for me and it has also been a motivator to become a better trained pilot and to expand my engineering interests.”
Parents and guardians may find the free eagle opportunity, a key to unlocking a more passion driven education for young people today.
While youth often hear how important STEM activities are for kids, a pilot like Fox can literally show them how the subjects build on one another and a potential future.
“Becoming a pilot involves a lot of STEM activities, from understanding weather to figuring out your fuel burn for a cross country flight at a particular altitude and airspeed based on the atmospheric conditions on that day,” Fox said. “It also teaches you a lot about yourself and helps you become more disciplined and rational in your thinking and actions.”
Those wishing to allow their children to fly, must contact Flight Coordinator, April Fox prior to Saturday. Free flights for 2018 are by appointment only and that can be done by sending an email to KLAMYoungEagles@yahoo.com.
Another attribute to building the passion for flight according to Fox is that it builds moral character, because you have to begin to accept responsibility for the welfare of others and work within a system that requires a solid moral and ethical base to be successful.
What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday and the Young Eagles Program has a rain day plan for Oct. 13 if the weather this Saturday doesn’t permit flights.