On a beautiful fall day, Chapter 176 of the EAA offered free airplane rides to all children between the ages of 7 and 17 through their Young Eagles program. The timing was just right for us, and the weather was nearly perfect.
The EAA flies out of Ronson Aviation at the Trenton-Mercer County Airport, a 10 minute drive from our house.
Pilots are on hand to answer question before, during and after your flight. Ashley was teamed up with Pilot Jim and two other kids. Through a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Ashley won the shotgun seat.
Jim took them up in his Mooney, a very high performance airplane. Considering how windy it was, I was glad she was flying in a plane that is better designed to handle the wind.
I handed Ashley my small camera so she could take some pictures from the air, while I kept my bigger camera so I could take pictures of them in the airplane.
Their flight plan had them turning left off of the runway, flying over Merrill Lynch, up to Hopewell, making another couple of lefts, then returning along the Bucks County side of the Delaware River. All together she was in the air about 15-20 minutes while I stood on the ground chatting with some Lawrenceville residents.
They did not fly over our house, but they did fly over her friend's
What I saw on my Young Eagles Flight...
We flew over Hopewell and saw the quarry where Maia and I went swimming. I saw her neighborhood.
We flew over the Delaware River. We saw Philadelphia on the horizon.
We saw lots of houses and some farms.
I could feel the wind blowing on my head. The wind also rocked the airplane back and forth.
After that she flew a flight simulator and had a huge grin on her face the entire time.
Less than a year ago, Ashley panicked whenever we had a flight booked. This year she flew with us out of Trenton-Mercer Airport to Florida on Frontier. Then a giant trip to Japan. Then solo trip to Michigan to see a BFF from kindergarten (again out of Trenton-Mercer Airport). Then to California out of Dulles. Now she is flying in a plane smaller than I could ever imagine.
She has come a long way!