Young Eagles Rally Reports – 2006

January 2006 – Young Eagles Rally

Young Eagles Go One for One

January 14, 2006 was the birthday of Bob Mullins, our Director of Operations. The Young Eagles that came for the rally on Bob’s birthday were afforded one-on-one treatment. There were 8 pilots with 8 aircraft to fly the 8 youngsters that came for flights. The Chicago bus arrived with 3 of the youngsters. Pilots Butch Bejna, Gregg Erickson, Steve MacCabe, Dan Rubino, Dan Skoda, Tim Sipples, Scott Taylor and Dick Tennerstedt stood at the ready to fly our Young Eagles. After the few minutes it took to squeeze off one wave of flights everyone regrouped to join volunteers Vic Croswell, Carmen Cursor, Jas Dilworth, Bev Dunjill, Mike Hill, Julius Jackson, Will Johnson, Moses Jones, Melvin Knazze, Carol MacCabe, Bob Mullins, Judi Rapier, Keith Renfroe, Carl Robinson, Marvin Robinson, Matthew Robinson, Veleda Robinson, Rob Strickland, Bettena Washington, Barbara Werner, Milt Williams, Dan Williamson and Paul Wilson for a luncheon of hot dogs and hamburgers barbequed to perfection by our very own chef, Rob Strickland along with an assortment of cookies baked by Judi Rapier. This adult social hour was probably the most fun yet. We were having so much fun that we forgot to wish Bob Mullins a Happy Birthday.

You are cordially invited to join us for our next regular Young Eagles rally as we celebrate Valentine’s Day and Black History month on Saturday, February 11, 2006 at the Gary-Chicago International Airport (GYY). We will operate out of the Tuskegee Airmen Headquarters located next to Gate 4. Aircraft parking will be West of Gate 4. Refreshments will be provided for all pilots and volunteers. The pilot briefing will be at 8:30 AM with flights beginning at 9:00 AM. Be sure to call the hotline after 7:00 AM on the morning of the flights to check flight status. In Illinois call: 312-409-5621; In Indiana call toll free: 888-235-9824 and press 3 to access the flight status mailbox. We look forward to seeing you at the Gary Airport. Happy Flyin’!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program

February 2006 – Young Eagles Rally

Weather Cancellation Still Nets Nine New Young Eagles

The weather forecast for Saturday, February 11, 2006 called for low ceilings and lake effect snow showers beginning sometime that morning with a possible accumulation of an inch or more. Therefore it was my call to cancel the regular Young Eagles rally for the day. The primary reasoning was that any pilots that flew in from another airport would literally be trapped at Gary when the lake effect snow began.

Of course everyone doesn’t check the hotline before they bring a group of youngsters out so a dozen youngsters arrived. Nine on a group van and three with a parent. Due to the dedication of a few hard core volunteers that came to the airport just in case someone did not get the cancellation notice, Vic Croswell, Jasmine Dilworth, Clarence Holland, Rob Strickland, Karon Thompson, Bettena Washington, Glyen White, Ernie Williams, Morris Williams and Paul Wilson, yours truly was able to fly the group of 9. The 3 youngsters that came with their parents were given rain checks because after taxiing in with the last of the group of nine at 10:30 the lake effect snow began with snow pellets. Every pilot knows what that means. The cancellation rally ended. An hour later there were blizzard conditions.

At 11:30 the volunteer group headed to the Robbins, IL library for a showing of David Wendell’s documentary “Breaking Barriers; A Story About African American Aviation Pioneers”. Many pioneers were in attendance such as Gen. Theus, George Taylor, Welton Taylor, Homer Ward, Dan Williamson, along with historians Tyrone Haymore, Rufus Hunt, Appearance Committee Chairman Melvin Knazze and president of the Ladies Auxiliary, Yola Moore. This was a truly historic event.

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program

March 2006 – Young Eagles Rally

Forty-Five New Young Eagles

The weather forecast for Saturday, March 11, 2006 was a bit unsettling, calling for a front headed our way with thunderstorms in the late afternoon. Thanks to the dedicated effort of our volunteers and the determined effort of our pilots we flew 45 Young Eagles, 15 of which came on the Chicago bus.

Women In Aviation volunteers Camille DeJorne and Cynthia Madsen were joined by her husband Ralph, Vic Croswell, Bev Dunjill, Mike Hill, Clarence Holland, Julius Jackson, Moses Jones, Carol MacCabe, Bob Martin, Carl Robinson, Marvin Robinson, Matthew Robinson, Veleda Robinson, LaVerne Shelton, Welton Taylor, Barbara Werner, Betenna Washington, Milt Williams, Dan Williamson and Paul Wilson in assisting pilots Butch Bejna, Steve MacCabe, Ken Rapier, Russell Shavitz and Dan Skoda.

Everyone enjoyed starting the morning with coffee and cookie bars baked by Judi Rapier and wrapping up the morning with sandwiches and chips for lunch. Thanks to the Women In Aviation for their help, a resounding “Hooahh” to our pilots that conquered some hefty winds to complete our mission and a special thanks to all of our regular volunteers. Without them there would be no mission. Why not plan to join this illustrious group of All Stars at our next regular Young Eagles rally at the Gary Airport on April 8, 2006?

Can’t make the rally? Join the Tuskegee Airmen for their annual scholarship dinner dance on April 22, 2006 at Nikos and meet the scholarship winners. Details available on the Chicago “DODO” Chapter web site: www.taichicago.org

Happy Flyin’!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program

April 2006 – Young Eagles Rally

Fifty-One New Young Eagles

The April 8, 2006 Young Eagles rally was another success producing 51 new Young Eagles thanks to the efforts of pilots:

Mike Askew, Butch Bejna, Joe Gmitter (who came in all the way from Minnesota), Steve MacCabe, Mark Odeen, Dan Skoda and Dick Tennerstedt. Assisting volunteers were: Vic Croswell, Carmen Crusor, Bev Dunjill, Julius Jackson, Moses Jones, Rufus Hunt, Carol MacCabe, Bob Mullins, Carl Robinson, Marvin Robinson, LaVerne Shelton, Rob Strickland, Betenna Washington, Barbara Werner, Milt Williams, Morris Williams and Paul Wilson.

The crew began the day with coffee and an assortment of cookies and doughnuts provided by Vic Croswell and Morris Williams along with homemade German Chocolate brownies baked by Judi Rapier. The wrap-up was a subway turkey sandwich luncheon with chips.

Wishing you a Pleasant Passover and Happy Easter, please include our Chapter President, Bev Dunjill in your prayers for a speedy recovery. Bev will be recovering from knee surgery at the Brentwood rehab center.

Happy Flyin’!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program

May 13, 2006 – Young Eagles Rally

Rally Cancelled – Plan to attend 6/24/06 Cook Out!!

Weather: Wind calm, rain, low ceilings and poor visibility.

Result: Young Eagles rally canceled and all registered Young Eagles rain checked for the next regular Young Eagles rally on June 10, 2006…International Young Eagles Day.

Please make a note, save the date and plan to join us for the rally and additionally join us for the Dan Williamson Day/Young Eagles Volunteer Appreciation cook-out on Saturday June 24. Both events to take place at the Tuskegee Airmen Headquarters located next to Gate 4 on the Gary- Chicago International Airport (GYY). Fly in, drive in, walk in, your choice but plan to join us.

Happy Flyin’!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program

July 8th, 2006 – Young Eagles Rally

“Like The Space Shuttle, Just Not As High” – 61 Young Eagles Flown

Beautiful weather on July 8th enabled us to join the Space Shuttle aloft and fly 61 Young Eagles. 37 of them arrived on the Chicago bus. Two youngsters came all the way from Atlanta and 3 others from Texas. Rob Strickland repeated his Dan Williamson/ Volunteer Appreciation Day Cook-Out Bar-B-Q delight for the pilots who were: Butch Bejna, Rhonda Buss, Steve MacCabe, Pete Murphy, Ken Rapier, Marvin Robinson, Russell Shavitz, and Dan Skoda. Dick Tennerstedt’s broken arm is healing and he will join us on August 5th.

Don’t forget…the Tuskegee Airmen will be in the Bud Biliken Parade on the second Saturday of August so the Young Eagles rally will be on the first Saturday of August. The airport cafe was open to serve anyone who came. Judi Rapier made cookie bars and bananna muffins (Mike Hill’s receipe) to start the morning for the volunteers: Bev Dunjill (who is recovering from knee surgery!?!), Alcus Cromartie, Vic Croswell, Oscar Griffith, Duane Hayden, Mike Hill, Clarence Holland, Rufus Hunt, Jilius Jackson, Moses Jones, Hilton Joseph, Carol MacCabe, Bob Martin, Bob Mullins, Keith Renfroe, LaVerne Shelton, Rob Strickland, Karon Thompson, Barbara Werner, Ernie Williams, Dan Williamson, and Paul Wilson.

A good time was had by all. We hope you can join us on August 5th. Happy Flyin’!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program


August 5th, 2006 – Young Eagles Rally

17 Young Eagles Pampered by 6 Pilots & 16 Volunteers

The weather August 5th was picture perfect for flying. The chief pilot that sends you these reports also sends the same reports to all parties of authority involved in the Young Eagles Program at the Gary Airport but obviously everyone doesn’t read these e-mails so… the bus from Chicago that was to bring 30 youngsters to Gary never materialized. This seems to be the routine every August when we change the rally from the 2nd Saturday to the 1st Saturday because the second Saturday in August is Bud Biliken Day. Everyone in Chicago knows that if you compete with Bud Biliken day, you loose. At any rate the 14 youngsters that came on a church bus and the 3 walk ups brought by their parents were afforded the royal treatment by the large staff of pilots: Butch Bejna, Ken Lozins, Ken Rapier, Marvin Robinson, Dan Skoda, Dick Tennerstedt and volunteers: Mike Askew, Vic Croswell, Bev Dunjill, Clarence Holland, Moses Jones, Hilton Joseph, Melvin Knazze, Bob Mullins, Judi Rapier, Carl Robinson, Matthew Robinson, Veleta Robinson, Rob Strickland, Karon Thompson, Barbra Werner and Paul Wilson. The staff was treated to homemade brownies baked by Judi Rapier and the final season barbeque cooked by chef Rob Strickland. Once again a good time was had by all.

Happy Flyin’!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program


September 9th, 2006 – Young Eagles Rally

Young Eagles Outfox Weatherman

The forecast for Saturday, September 9th called for rain all day. Actual weather for the Young Eagles rally: Not a drop. Since the weather was good for recreational flying, 51 Young Eagles were initiated by four dedicated pilots: Butch Bejna, Ken Lozin, Ken Rapier and Dan Skoda. However the day was not without challenges . Our computer system locked up and the Chicago bus, with 25 youngsters on board was stuck in traffic and didn’t arrive until Noon. Once again our loyal volunteers: Grady Davis, Bev Dunjill, Mike Hill, Clarence Holland, Julius Jackson, Willard Johnson, Moses Jones, Melvin Knazze, Bob Mullins, Carl Robinson, LaVerne Shelton, Rob Strickland, Barbara Werner, Milt Williams, Dan Williamson and Paul Wilson held it all together after having a breakfast of coffee, tea or hot chocolate and Judi Rapier’s homemade banana muffins. After completing all of the flights at 3 PM, the committed group of pilots and volunteers dined on the Subway turkey sandwiches that they missed so much while Rob Strickland barbequed all summer. We were visited by Frogs Club President and commercial pilot ship and air, Bob Johnson, who was there to encourage youngsters to pursue their dreams. A good time was had by all but Glynn White was not there to receive our fond farewell. We will miss her at the future Young Eagles rallies. We look forward to seeing you at the next one on October 14th.

Happy Flyin’!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program

October 14th, 2006 – Young Eagles Rally

“A Great Day For Flying”

The weather on Saturday, October 14th was great for flying. Sunny skies with a cool breeze for pilots Mike Askew, Butch Bejna, Joe Gmitter, Ken Lozins, Pete Murphy, Ken Rapier and Dick Tennerstedt to fly a total of 61 Young Eagles thanks to the committed assistance of Vic Croswell, Bev Dunjill, Mike Hill, Moses Jones, Hilton Joseph, Carol MacCabe, Steve MacCabe, Bob Mullins, Carl Robinson, LaVerne Shelton, Rob Strickland, Welton Taylor, Karon Thompson, Barbara Werner, Milt Williams, Dan Williamson and Paul Wilson. Once again we had visitors from the Frogs Club, Mr. and Mrs. Wayman Davis, who came to observe our operation. Everyone enjoyed coffee, tea, hot chocolate and homemade cookies baked by Judi Rapier to start the morning. We wrapped up the day with a delectable lunch of Subway turkey sandwiches and chips.

We hope you will plan to join us for our next scheduled Young Eagles rally on Veterans’ Day. We will be honoring the Tuskegee Airmen and we will also have our annual Volunteer Appreciation Awards presentation. Mark you calendar now for Saturday, November 11th. We hope you will join us at the Gary-Chicago Airport. Happy Flyin’!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program

November 11th, 2006 – Young Eagles Rally

“A Great Day For To Honor Our Veterans; A Terrible Day For Flying”

Unfortunately this is going to be a very short report. Veterans’ Day, Saturday, November 11, 2006, was quite the blustery day. Rain, high winds, low ceilings and visibility along with some gusting wind made for a poor weather day causing the November Young Eagles rally to be canceled. We’ll try it again on December 9th. Mark your calendars because if the weather permits we will be flying in December. Happy Flyin’!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program

December 9th, 2006 – Young Eagles Rally

“A Great Day For To Honor Our Veterans; A Terrible Day For Flying”

Saturday, December 9, 2006 was a chilly day. Only 16 stout of heart youngsters came out for flights and only 2 of them came on the Chicago bus. Eight pilots arrived but only the first five to show up got to fly any Young Eagles. Vic Croswell, Ken Rapier and Scott Taylor didn’t get to fly, but Butch Bejna, Joe Gmitter from Minnesota, Ken Lozin, Dan Skoda and Dick Tennerstedt handled the few flights required. The real fun began after the short rally was over; Our Volunteer Appreciation/Xmas Party.

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program

Password Reset

Please enter your e-mail address. You will receive a new password via e-mail.