Thirty kids walked around Stag Air Park in Burgaw with butterflies in their stomachs, but big smiles on their faces waiting their turn for an exhilarating ride in a two-seater airplane.
The experimental aircraft association held their Young Eagles Program. Kids interested in flying were invited be co-pilots on the small planes. Twenty-five general electric volunteers and pilots donated their time, fuel, and skills to give kids a thrilling adventure in the air.
Like many kids, Zachary Parks is fascinated with aviation, but unlike his peers, he was diagnosed with leukemia. Zachary has never had the opportunity to fly, until Saturday. “I just always wanted to be up in the air, so I just finally got there.”
Zachary took to the skies and said the feeling he got was hard to describe. “At first, take-off was kind of like a roller coaster but then it just became it’s own thing.”
“It’s just exciting to see their smile on their face, that kind of says it all,” said pilot Ken McGee. “A lot of times, this is the first time for kids and the whole thing about this is to see those guys have a great time and enjoy and maybe get a little spark going for aviation.”
The experience was one everyone at Stag Field will cherish, especially Zachary. “It was a dream come true.”
The fly-ins take place every month at Stag Air Park in Burgaw.