Young Eagles

The EAA Young Eagles program was launched in 1992 to give interested young people, ages 8 - 17, an opportunity to go flying in a general aviation airplane. These flights are offered free of charge and are made possible through the generosity of EAA member volunteers. Stuart Jet Center donates fuel and provides the use of their facility to EAA Young Eagles.
Since 1992, more than 1.1 million Young Eagles have enjoyed a flight through the program. Young Eagles have been registered in more than 90 different countries and have been flown by nearly 40,000 volunteer pilots.
 
For more information about EAA Young Eagles, please write, call or email at the addresses below:

 
EAA Young Eagles
P.O. Box 2683
Oshkosh, WI 54903-2683
Phone: 920-426-6114
Email: yeagles@eaa.org
Web: www.youngeagles.org

 

Ford Tri-Motor a success

at Witham Field

By Eric Ingraham, President EAA Chapter 692
Thanks to our partnering organizations, EAA Chapter 692 of Stuart was able to bring the 1929 Ford Tri-Motor to the Treasure Coast. The spectators turned out in large numbers to go for a ride in this piece of flying history or simply reminisce about years gone by. EAA's Ford Tri-Motor (NC8407) was manufactured on August 21, 1929, and was purchased by Pitcairn Airways, which flew it up and down the east coast of the United States in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Eastern Airways, the forerunner of Eastern Airlines, subsequently purchased Pitcairn Airways.

In the mid-1930s, the airplane was sold and moved to Cuba, where it flew for a Cuban airline for several years and also spent time in Central and South America. In the 1940s, the airplane was flown in Idaho and Montana, transporting smoke jumpers who fought forest fires. At that time, the large 450-horsepower engines were installed. The passenger door was also converted into a square-jumping threshold, so that jumpers' equipment would not become snagged during an exit. The airplane was also used as a "Borate Bomber” that dropped chemicals on forest fires. In the 1960s, the airplane was part of an operation that flew around the country, offering rides to the public.
 
In 1973, the airplane was at a tour stop at Burlington, WI, when a thunderstorm squall line moved through the area. Either a tornado or a very large thunderstorm lifted the airplane 30 feet in the air and then dropped it to the ground. The airplane, which broke into three pieces, was considered a total loss.
 
EAA purchased the Tri-Motor from an insurance company shortly afterward and began the long process of restoring it. The 12-year restoration was completed in 1985.
 
For the next six years, the Tri-Motor was on display at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, WI, and was only flown occasionally. In 1991, the airplane began regular passenger flights once more, based from the Museum's Pioneer Airport.
 
In preparation for her 75th birthday, during the winter of 2003-04, the airplane received a "makeover” through the kind generosity and many hours of hard work by Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation in Appleton, and EAA's own team of mechanics. The airplane is hangared today at Pioneer Airport's Pitcairn Hangar, except when it is making one of numerous public appearances throughout the country.
 
I had the pleasure of co-piloting this grand old plane from Stuart on to her next stop in Vero Beach. It's an amazing experience to fly along the beach at 85 miles per hour with the windows open and your arm resting on the windowsill. While she looks big and cumbersome she has very gentle flight characteristics. Nothing happens fast! Gently move the controls and wait for this grand old lady to catch up. It was a very peaceful thing bringing back a time when air travel was much simpler. No security gates, TSA body checks, body scanners, etc… Air travel has certainly come a long way… Or has it?
 
Many thanks to those that came out to support this wonderful piece of history and to our sponsoring partners: Stuart Jet Center; Treasure Coast Flight Training; Enterprise Rent-A-Car; The Pineapple Post; Freedom Waste; 101.3 Radio; 1450 WSTU Radio; Channel 12 CBS News; The Members and Volunteers of EAA Chapter 692; Ingraham Insurance Agency/Allstate.

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