Young Eagles Rally Reports – 2008

 


January 12th, 2008 – Young Eagles Rally

Eleven Hardy Youngsters Get To Fly On A Cold Chicago Morning

Fyling conditions were great for a winter day on Saturday,  January 12,2008, so the eleven Young Eagles that came to the Young Eagles rally were pampered by eight pilots and twenty-three volunteers. Four youngsters arrived on the Chicago bus, six from Saulk Village and one walk-up. The feast-or-famine rally was attended by pilots Butch Bejna, Vic Croswell, Greg Erickson, Dave Galowich, Steve MacCabe, Ken Rapier, Keith Renfroe and Dan Skoda, with volunteers Kathy Bell, Don Clay, Bev Dunjill, Krystal Franklin, Ryan Galowich, Mike Hill, Julius Jackson, Wil Johnson, Moses Jones, Melvin Knazze, Carol MacCabe, Darryl Mack, Bob Martin, Bob Mullins, Carl Robinson, Marvin Robinson, LaVerne Shelton, Rob Strickland, Welton Taylor, Mary Ward, Barb Werner, Milt Williams and Paul Wilson. After the rally the pilots and volunteers celebrated the New Year with chilli made by Barb Werner and Rob Strickland along with hot wings, cookies and brownies made by Don Clay. Since there were only a few Young Eagles to fly, the pilots and volunteers wer able to celebtate for a longer time and a good time was had by all. Happy Flyin’!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program

May 10th, 2008 – Young Eagles Rally

It’s All A Team Effort & Summer Flight Schedule

What would having no running water and the high cost of fuel do to the Young Eagles rally? Nothing but challenge us to work around it with the help of the men at the Gary Fire Department and pilots biting the bullet and paying for fuel. Alas, the weather finally cooperated and blessed us with a picture perfect day for flying 49 official Young Eagles. We also flew a pair of 18 year olds, one of whom is the co-star of the Disney Channel show “Raven”. Youngsters over the age of 17 do not count as Young Eagles but we try to accomodate all young people when we can. Thanks to the efforts of pilots Butch Bejna, Vic Croswell, Steve Hammond, Steve MacCabe, Ken Rapier, Keith Renfroe, Marvin Robinson and Dan Skoda with assistance from volunteers Don Clay, Alcus Crowmartie, Clarence Holland, Rufus Hunt, Julius Jackson, Moses Jones, Melvin Knazze, Carol MacCabe, Carl Robinson, LaVerne Shelton, Rob Strickland, Kahari Velez, W elton Taylor, Barb Werner and O.Lawton Wilkerson. Pilots and volunteers began the day with coffee and sweet rolls as big as you head from Don Clay. After the rally everyone was treated to a delicious lunch of hamburgers and hot dogs grilled to perfection by Rob Strickland, a healthy tossed salad with a choice of Ranch or Italian dressing from Carol MacCabe and a variety of chips and soda from Barb Werner. Everyone was glad to get back in the Young Eagles Rally Groove and enjoy the pleasant weather on this early Springtime day. A good time was had by all and everyone was reminded of these summer dates:

June 14th – International Young Eagles Day

June 28th – Volunteer Appreciation Day at Gary Airport at Noon

July 12th – Regularly scheduled Young Eagles rally

July 18-20 – Gary Air Show weekend

July 28-August 3 – Oshkosh Air Show week

August 9th – Bud Biliken Day Parade

August 16-17 – Chicago Air & Water Show

Note: Because of the full schedule in August…the August Young Eagles rally is CANCELLED.

Please mark your calendars accordingly. Happy Flyin!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program


September 13th, 2008 – Young Eagles Rally

Rally Cancelled – Tropical Storm Ike

Normally there is no Young Eagles report after a cancellation but this is an exception. Let me begin by thanking all of the dedicated pilots and volunteers of the Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Team for standing at the ready to complete the Young Eagles rally if the weather had a change of heart and decided to cooperate.

Unfortunately, that was not the case. September 13, 2008 found us under the influence of a Pacific tropical storm, giving us heavy rain, low ceilings, poor visibility and high winds. Conditions that put recreational flying out of the question. A special thanks to our head chef, Rob Strickland and his cadre of dedicated cooks, Cathy Bell, Don Clay, Carol MacCabe, Karon Thompson and Barb Werner. This committed group had plans for a spectacular luncheon feast, complete with birthday cake and ice cream. Birthday cake? That’s correct, birthday cake and a celebration in honor of our sixth year at the Gary-Chicago Airport, returning for Young Eagles flights after a 90 day lay-off caused by airshow cancellations and the 29th birthday of one our our most dedicated volunteers. Oh yes, of course I should mention who just turned 29 and holding (still), Mr. Moses Jones. Happy Birthday Moses!

The next item is of vital importance: The October Young Eagles rally will be held on October 4th. Please help get the word out that the date has been changed to the second weekend of October because the Grand Opening of the National Historic Site, Tuskegee Army Airfield, Moton Field, Tuskegee, Alabama. It is anticipated that all of the Tuskegee Airmen that are able to travel will be returning to their training base to witness it being dedicated as a National Historic Landmark. The keynote speaker for the event will be, President George Walker Bush. Everyone is invited to attend the ribbon cutting Friday and numerous other activities Saturday and Sunday. Pilots flying in are advised to fly in on Thursday due to the TFR over Moton Field on Friday. Plan on being at the next Young Eagles rally on Saturday, October 4, 2008. Happy Flyin’!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program

October 4th, 2008 – Young Eagles Rally

A Picture Perfect Day for Flying

Saturday, October 4, 2008 was a picture perfect day for flying. There were 25 youngsters participating in the Young Eagles rally, 13 of which arrived on the Chicago bus. Pilots flyin the relatively small group were Butch Bejna, Victor Croswell, Steve Hammond, Steve MacCabe, Ken Rapier and Keith Renfroe. Volunteers assisting with the rally were Cathy Bell, Don, Heather and Evie Clay, Bev and Jean Dunjill, Charles and Betty Guice, Julius Jackson, Moses Jones, Hilton Joseph, Melvin Knazze, Bob Mullins, Carol MacCabe, Darryl Mack, Carl Robinson, Marvin Robinson, Matthew Robinson, Vince Saunders, Rob Strickland, Mary Ward, Barb Werner and Paul Wilson. Once again a delightful luncheon feast of deep fried chicken, potatoes and green beans prepared by Don Clay, spaghetti and meatballs made by Cathy Bell, turkey and beans cooked by Barb Werner, greens and ham hocks with corn bread fixed by Rob Strickland and brownies and cookie bars baked by Carol MacCabe, made the day complete for our pilots and volunteers. Don Clay started the morning with the now looked forward to doughnuts as big as your head. We may have had a smaller than normal group of youngsters but we certainly made up for lost time with the wonderful social hour after the rally. You had to be there. Happy Flyin’!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot


2008 Young Eagles Program Wrap-up

Here’s wishing you a safe, healthy, happy and prosperous New Year of 2009 and beyond. 2008 proved to be a challenge as far as our Young Eagles rallies went. We were forced to cancel 8 out of 12 months. 6 due to weather and 2 due to airshow conflicts. We flew 120 Young Eagles in 4 rallies, giving us an average of 30 youngsters per rally compared to our previous average of 45. The total number of Young Eagles flown at Gary is 2,200 since September, 2002, when we began operations at the Gary-Chicago Airport. Our goal for 2009 is to continue operations and despite the economic down-turn and increased fuel prices, increase our rally average for this year. Why not plan to join us for our next regularly scheduled Young Eagles rally to be held at the Gary-Chicago International Airport (GYY) on Saturday, January 10, 2009. Pil ots should be aware of the Presidential TFR south of the former location of Meigs Field, along the lake shore, over Hyde Park. The pilot briefing will be at 8:30 A.M. with flights beginning at 9:00 A.M. We will operate out of the terminal building and refreshments will be provided for all pilots and volunteers. Be sure to call the hotline after 7:00 A.M. on the morning of the rally to check flight status. In Illinois call 312-409-5621; In Indiana call toll free: 888-235-9824. Press 3 to access the flight status mailbox. We’re expecting 2009 to be a much better year and we look forward to seeing you at the Gary Airport. Happy Flyin’!

Ken Rapier, Chief Pilot

Tuskegee Airmen Young Eagles Program

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