Young Eagles Rally Reports – 2007

 

January 13th, 2007 – Young Eagles Rally

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

The weather Saturday, January 13, 2007 gave us a window of opportunity for our 16 new Young Eagles; 9 of which made the trip to the Gary Airport on the bus provided by the City of Chicago. The weather forecast was calling for bad weather but the actual morning conditions had the associated front well to the South of the Gary Airport resulting a 1700′ ceiling and 10 miles of visibility. Strange as it sounds, the weather turned out to be great for flying. Pilots Ken Lozin, Mark Odeen, Dan Skoda and Ken Rapier flew the small group in short order which left volunteers Vic Croswell, Bev Dunjill, Duane Hayden, Rufus Hunt, Julius Jackson, Melvin Knazze, Oscar Lopez, Bob Mullins, Keith Renfroe, Carl Robinson, Marvin Robinson, Matthew Robinson, Laverne Shelton, Rob Strickland, Karon Thompson, Barbara Werner, Milt Williams, Dan Williamson and Paul Wilson with plenty of time to socialize with the pilots while enjoying turkey subs and chips for lunch. We got off to a flying strart for 2007. In 2006 we had to cancel rallies 4 different times (Feb, May, June & Nov) during the year. Nevertheless, we flew 317 Young Eagles in total last year giving us a average of 40 youngsters flown each month. Our goal for 2007 is to bring that average back up to 45 per month. Than means beginning in February, we must fly another 525 Young Eagles this year. Why not plan now to join us in meeting this challenge.

Happy Flyin’!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program

February 10th, 2007 – Young Eagles Rally

“Another Terrible Day For Flying”

Saturday, February 10, 2007 was one of our coldest days this winter. Because of the temperatures in the teens and the sub-zero wind chill factor, the Young Eagles rally was cancelled. There were some late morning problems with the hotline. If anyone is ever unable to reach our hotline to check flight status before venturing out to the airport, feel free to call me on my cell for an update on the status of the rally: 773-879-2698.

The next Young Eagles will be on Saturday, March 10, 2007. Happy Flyin’!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program

March 10th, 2007 – Young Eagles Rally

“Jan & Feb Were Weather Delays, But In March We Were Up, Up, & Away!!”

Saturday, March 10, 2007 began with early morning fog that was forecast to burn off by 9 AM. At 9:01 the sky was clear and the winds were light, making perfect flying conditions. 31 Young Eagles arrived for flights, 2 of which came on the Chicago bus.

The youngsters, flown by pilots Butch Bejna, Pete Murphy and Ken Rapier, assisted by Vic Croswell, Bev Dunjill, Mike Hill, Clarence Holland, Julius Jackson, Hilton Joseph, Wil Johnson, Melvin Knazze, Marshall Knox, Bob Martin, Bob Mullins, Carl Robinson, Marvin Robinson, Matthew Robinson, Veleda Robinson, Rob Strickland, Welton Taylor, Milt Williams and Dan Williamson.

A very special thanks to the Robinsons who provided the doughnuts to go with the morning coffee; Vic Croswell and Karon Thompson for the microwave donation; and last but far from least, Mary Ward and Barb Werner, who not only takes care of registration but provided all of the pilots and volunteer with a served lunch of meatball sandwiches, cole slaw, chips and salsa. I hope you can join us for our next Young Eagles rally on April 14, 2007. Why not mark your calendar and plan for it now.

Happy Flyin’!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program

April 14th, 2007 – Young Eagles Rally

“CAPs Youth Enrollees Become Young Eagles!”

This Young Eagles report is coming to you in a record two hours after the rally ended. The weather conditions were forecast to be lousy for Saturday, April 14, 2007 but the actual conditions on the day of the rally were fine for recreational flying: ceiling 12,000 feet overcast; visibility 6 to 10 miles and morning winds 10 and later gusting to 20 knots. 15 youngsters arrived on the Chicago bus. There was a special group of 50 youngsters from the CAPS Youth Initiative, coodinated by Duane Hayden, with 39 getting Young Eagles flights for a total of 54 Young Eagles flown by pilots Butch Bejna, Steve MacCabe, Ken Rapier, Marvin Robinson and Dan Skoda. Our cadre of volunteers included Vic Croswell, Grady Davis, Bev Dunjill, Mike Hill, Clarence Holland, Rufus Hunt, Julius Jackson, Moses Jones, Hilton Joseph, Wil Johnson, Melvin Knazze, Marshall Knox, Carol MacCabe, Bob Martin, Bob Mullins, Keith Renfroe, Carl Robinson, LaVerne Shelton, Rob Strickland, Karon Thompson, Welton Taylor, Mary Ward, Barbra Werner, Milt Williams, Dan Williamson and Paul Wilson. Everyone began the morning with coffee, tea, hot chocolate and cookies and closed the rally with a prime luncheon of barbecued hamburgers and hot dogs grilled to perfection by our resident chef, Rob Strickland. It turned out to be quite a successful rally. Our next Young Eagles rally will be held on Saturday, May 12, 2007; same time, same station. There are a few dates to make special note of for June, July and August.

June: Young Eagles rally on the 9th and Appreciation Cook-out on the 16th.

July: Young Eagles rally on the 7th…Gary Airshow on the 14th and 15th.

August: Young Eagles rally on the 4th…Bud Biliken parade on the 11th.

Please note that the July and August rallies are on the first Saturday.

Happy Flyin’!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program

May 12th, 2007 – Young Eagles Rally

62 New Young Eagles Get Their Wings On This Sunny Day In May

Ahhh, the beauty of a sunny spring day. That was the treat instore for the 62 youngsters that took flight today, Saturday, May 12, 2007. The enjoyment of barbequed chicken, grilled to perfection by Rob Strickland. That was the treat instore for the Young Eagles volunteers. I can’t even tell you who they were because we didn’t have time to make a list of volunteers. Without the assistance of the volunteers this rally would have been impossible to complete. Thank you to all of the volunteers that helped our three pilots, Butch Bejna, Scott Taylor and Ken Rapier fly the 7 youngsters that came on the Chicago bus, the 17 Calumet Sea Cadets, the Boy Scout Troop from St. Timothy and countless other individual youngsters brought by their parents. Let it suffice to say that it was a busy day but once again, Mission Acomplished. The next Young Eagles rally is International Young Eagles Day, June 9, 2007. Mark you calendar and plan to join us for the rally and Young Eagles Volunteer Appreciation Day on June 16, 2007.

Happy Flyin’!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program


August 4th, 2007 – Young Eagles Rally

46 New Young Eagles Get Their Wings

Saturday, August 4, 2007 was the coolest day in a week long heat wave. The cooler temps and calm winds made for a pleasant flight experience for 46 happy Young Eagles flown by pilots Butch Bejna, Vic Croswell, Steve Hammond, Steve MacCabe, Mark Odeen and Ken Rapier, assisted by volunteers LtCol Beverly Armstrong, Marie Burnett-Davis, Bev Dunjill, Tom Hammond, Mike Hill, Julius Jackson, Wil Johnson, Hilton Joseph, Barbara Werner, newlyweds Charles and Karen Junior, Carol MacCabe, Bob Mullins, Carl Robinson, Marvin Robinson, Matthew Robinson, Veleda Robinson, LaVerne Shelton, Welton Taylor, Karon Thompson, Milt Williams and Paul Wilson. After all of the youngsters had flown, our volunteers were treated to spaghetti and garden salad made by Karon Thompson and hamburgers and hot dogs grilled by Rob Strickland. We closed out the day by celebrating a Civil Air Patrol Squadron being named after Col Julius Jackson and the safe retur n of our pilots to base, after yet another successful mission, just before the late afternoon showers began.

Happy Flyin’!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program

September 8th, 2007 – Young Eagles Rally

38 New Young Eagles Get Their Wings

Saturday, September 8, 2007 was another fine day for flying. A perfect day to apply an ample dose of aviation to 38 deserving youngsters. Ten youngsters came with Chicago Police Officers in the CAPS program. One youngster arrived on the Chicago bus and all were treated to Young Eagles flights by pilots Butch Bejna, Vic Croswell, Steve MacCabe, Ken Rapier, Keith Renfroe and Marvin Robinson. The Young Eagles Volunteer Staff consisting of Don Clay, Wil Johnson, Moses Jones, Melvin Knazze, Carol MacCabe, Bob Martin, Denise McCully, Bob Mullins, Carl Robinson, Rob Strickland, Barb Werner, Milt Williams and Paul Wilson assisted in the newly Karon Thompson re-designed Young Eagles Operations Area. After the rally the pilots and volunteeres dined on hamburgers and hot dogs grilled to perfection by Rob Strickland, potatoe salad prepared by Barb Werner and chilli caserole made by Karon Thompson. The day closed out with a Young Eagles Volunteer Awards Presentation. Plan to join us for the next regular Young Eagles rally on Saturday, October 13, 2007.

Happy Flyin’!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program


October 13th, 2007 – Young Eagles Rally

55 New Young Eagles Get Their Wings

Such a fine day for flying was Saturday, October 13, 2007. Good visibility, calm winds and moderate temperatures allowed pilots Butch Bejna, Vic Croswell, Steve MacCabe, Ken Rapier, Keith Renfroe and Dan Skoda to fly 55 youngsters, 20 of which came on the Chicago bus, asssisted by volunteers Don Clay, Bev Dunjill, Mike Hill, Julius Jackson, Hilton Joseph, Melvin Knazze, Marshall Knox, Carol MacCabe, Bob Martin, Steve Mrowczynski, Bob Mullins, Carl Robinson, LaVerne Shelton, Rob Strickland, Welton Taylor, Mary Ward, Barb Werner and Milt Williams. After the rally a brief memorial was held in honor of Dan Williamson and then the pilots and volunteers were treated to what seemed like a chilli cook-off. Three crock pots of dynamite chilli were prepared by our very own chefs of excellance, Rob Strickland, Karon Thompson and Barb Werner. It was impossible to say whose was the best. I think we have discovered a new lunch trea t for our group. We rounded off the afternoon with volunteer awards, pilot of the year Keith Renfroe, volunteer of the year Carl Robinson and new volunteer of the year Don Clay who brought doughnuts to start the morning that were as big as your head. Once again a good time was had by all. We hope to see you at the next rally on Noverber 10th. Mark your calendars now.

Happy Flyin’!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program

November 10th, 2007 – Young Eagles Rally

Celebration: Over 2000 Young Eagles flown at Gary!

Blessed with yet another fine weather day for Young Eagles flights, 38 youngsters were treated to flights by pilots Butch Bejna, Vic Croswell, Steve Hammond, Andy James, Mark Odeen, Ken Rapier, Keith Renfroe, Dan Skoda and Scott Taylor assisted by volunteers Don Clay, Clarence Holland, Rufus Hunt, Wil Johnson, Karen Junior, Melvin Knazze, Marshall Knox, Bob Martin, Bob Mullins, Carl Robinson, LaVerne Shelton, Rob Strickland, Welton Taylor, Karon Thompson, Mary Ward, Barb Werner, Milt Williams, and Paul Wilson.

The Chicago bus was a no-show and left Julius Jackson standing on the corner of Roosevelt and Wabash without a ride. John Watkins from the Times joined us again to do video interviews with the Tuskegee Airmen.

We now have the long awaited refrigerator for keeping beverages cold and everyone was delighted with the luncheon faire. The volunteers and their pilots dined on a meal prepared by our volunteer men and women. Delicious spaghetti by Barb Werner; Tasty hot wings by Karon Thompson; Pot pies that were “off-the-hook” made by Don Clay and broccoli salad by Karon Thompson’s brother-in -law that was “off-the-planet”. This report is not intended to be about food but Vic and Keith flew me up to Waukegan to pick up Tim’s airplane after the rally and the only thing we talked about on the way up there was how great all of the food was, including the doughnuts that Don Clay bought that seemed to be the size of your head. A very special thanks to all of our chefs. I even asked our top chef, Rob Strickland not to cook anything because so many other volunteers were cooking. A good time was had by all. You just had to be the re. December 8th perhaps?

Happy Flyin’!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program

November 10th, 2007 – Young Eagles Rally

Young Eagles Team Pulls Rabbit Out of Hat

Weather forecast all week long called for the conditions to be terrible to miserable on Saturday, December 8, 2007 but the Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Volunteers seemed to pull a rabbit out of their collective hat and provide Young Eagles flights for 34 youngsters, 3 of whom arrived via the Chicago bus. The higher power that actually creates the weather that weather men and women attempt to prognosticate, decided to make the weather for the morning fair and flyable until about Noon or so. That enabled pilots Butch Bejna, Vic Croswell, Keith Renfroe, Marvin Robinson and Dan Skoda to complete their missions with the assistance of volunteers Don Clay, Bev Dunjill, Clarence Holland, Rufus Hunt, Julius Jackson, Moses Jones, Melvin Knazze, Marshall Knox, Carol MacCabe, Steve MacCabe, Bob Mullins, Carl Robinson, LaVerne Shelton, Rob Strickland and Paul Wilson. After the rally the pilots and volunteers received Team Awards from the Experimental Aircraft As sociation and were treated to brats and hot sausage grilled by chef Rob Strickland and chicken and giant doughnuts brought by Don Clay. Marvin corrected me on the fact that even though the doughnuts are as big as your head, they are actually construction workers’ doughnuts. Everyone ended the day by wishing each other good holiday cheer. If you were not there to get a personal holiday greeting, on behalf of all of the Young Eagles pilots and volunteers, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season. Happy Flyin’!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program

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