Children from throughout Coryell and Lampasas Counties wait to see their names appear in the “world’s largest logbook” as a result of the Young Eagles Flight Rally held last weekend at Lampasas Airport.

Experimental Aircraft Association—Chapter 542 of Killeen partnered with the Lampasas Pilots Association and the city of Lampasas to take 53 children and a few parents on free flights in small engine planes.

All participants received a certificate and will have their names entered into a log book on the EAA website within 60 days of the rally. One of the goals of the event is to get young people interested in the field of aviation.

“I thought I could one day see myself doing (an airline job),” said 16-year-old Nathanael Thelen of Copperas Cove, who rode in a four-seater Cirrus. (The flight rally) confirmed it. I definitely like flying in a small aircraft,”

Surface winds gusting from the ground up to about 5,000 feet made take-offs a little bumpy, but the flights smoothed out as the planes made their circles over Lampasas. Five airplanes made 12 flights flying a total of 400 miles.

“We have as much fun as the kids do,” said. Dave Wesley, a club official. “Kids get out of those planes and they are beaming from ear to ear. It’s just like that for every flight.”

Pilots donate their time, their planes, and even the gasoline and maintenance for the planes for each rally.

“We don’t make any money off this event. We do it because we truly enjoy it,” Wesley said.

EEA Chapter 542 holds the Young Eagle Flight Rallies twice annually and will hold its next rally in April or May in Gatesville or Temple.

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