Scouts take flight, earn new badge Saturday
By WVUA23 News Student Reporter Avery Lake
About 50 scouts were eager to earn their latest badge Saturday: the Aviation Merit Badge. WVUA 23 News was there as Cessna aircraft lined the runway at the Tuscaloosa National Airport. The scouts, both boys and girls, were able to go up for a 20 minute ride around Tuscaloosa. These scouts were flown for free as part of the Young Eagles program.
According to its website, the Young Eagles program started in 1992 as a way to give children and teens a taste of the world of aviation. While on the flight the children are taught the basics of flying a plane. After the flight, the scouts each took a turn at flying a plane with a Civil Air Patrol’s flight simulator. In addition to the free plane ride, members of the Civil Air Patrol taught the scouts about careers in aviation.
“We would love to have the impact from today to spur in them to want to be a pilot or to be a aircraft mechanic or an ATC operator,” said Civil Air Patrol Public Affairs Officer Cynthia Collette.” There are so many careers in aviation and aerospace. We want them to have their eyes open and see the possibilities.”
The scouts also had a paper airplane competition where they were taught how to make the best paper airplanes. At the end of the day, all 50 scouts earned their aviation merit badges.