|Posted by EAA 790 Webmaster on December 14, 2012 at 5:35 PM|
This year's Young Eagle season may have ended for the Chapter,but it lives on in the minds of the kids. We have continued to receive phone calls and email from parents asking if there will be more flights this year (as of November). The efforts made by Chapter 790 members over the past few years have made a tremendous impact on the local, Lake in the Hills population. The LITH airport is becoming a part of the general public's lives.While it may be a very small part today, the experiences that these kids have,completely changes them. They learn that they can do anything in their lives -- even fly!
Altogether, the 2012 Young Eagles season was a huge success.The numbers were up again this year with a total of over 330 kids flown after only seven (7) events in six (6) months. Believe it or not, two of those events were plagued with thunderstorms, although that didn't dampen any spirits, and our first event took place only nine (9) days after a fatal plane crash just 1000 yards from the end of the runway - not an easy way to build public confidence in aviation. Not knowing the word defeat, Nancy Blazyk rallied the troops and guided the program through another extremely successful season.
As I mentioned, the season was a huge success, but the numbers aren't the true deciding factor. We touched 330 children's lives this year, and a lot of adult's lives, too. There's no way to measure the effects of expanding the imagination of a young person or building his or her confidence. They climb out of the cockpit different people than before climbing in, and the paths of their lives take a different course from then on.
Another factor we used to measure our success, and the most important, is safety. The pilots and the ground crew were all vigilant about following procedures and using sound, aviation judgment, but a special thank you goes to that young group of men and women that diligently showed up, event after event, to keep a close eye on the public out on the tarmac - our local branch of the Civil Air Patrol. They do a spectacular job at all of our events and deserve a special salute. While we're talking about appreciation, there are a few more people we need to remember.
A very big thank you goes to Manny Gomez, the Deputy Public Works Director and Airport Manager,for sharing his time and allowing us the use of the Lake in the Hills airport office and more.
Also, a special thank you to a guy that keeps showing up and helps us with all those little details when we need help, Mike Carzoli of Blue Skies Pilot Shop.
There is one other person who we has been referred to as"the Angel or the Airport," and "the Love Shack Honey," but most of us just know her as Mary Anne Basak. Mary Anne has always greeted us with smiles, helped with the Young Eagles back-office, and always makes us feel like we're at home at the airport.So much so, it will be a sad day when the small airport office is finally torn down to make way for progress.
I would like to add one more name to this small group of people that we could call our "upper-management." Our Chairperson, Nancy Blazyk, has worked tremendously hard on the Young Eagles program these past two years and the results show it.She has been more dedicated to the development of the program in the greater Lake in the Hills area than anyone, and is always ready during those hectic events when caffeinated pilots, sugared-up kids, frustrated parents, and Mother Nature all converge in that one location on a Saturday morning once a month. Nancy makes it work, with a little help, of course.
Continuing our appreciation, another basket of thank you's gets delivered to our crews. We worked the pilots hard this year, especially those warm days when we had record breaking numbers of kids. They kept dutifully heading to the air until the last name on the day's list was checked off. Thank you, folks!
2012 Pilots included
While we needed the pilots to fly, we needed the ground crew to do the real work. Right in the middle of the mobs, the ground crews diligently registered, herded, corralled, shuffled, shipped, and certificated those hundreds of kids and did a damn fine job of keeping them safe, happy, and organized each crazy Saturday morning.
Ground Crew included
Hopefully, this is a complete list, but in the likely event we missed someone, please give them one atta-boy, and a very warm handshake (and let me know).
We are planning on an even busier 2013 Young Eagles season,so rest up and get ready to have more fun. And go tell those kids down the block about the program, you just might turn into that "way-cool neighbor" and a hero to some young people.
A very big THANK YOU from Nancy Blazyk, me, and the Chapter790 Board for a job very well done!