Young East Texans Take First Flight Free

by Larry Little

Eight-year-old Gage Smith is fascinated with airplanes. Saturday was his first time getting to sit in the pilot's seat.

"I want to know a lot about airplanes, how fast they can go and how high they can go," says Gage.

Many of Gage's questions about the airplane were answered, so there was just one thing left to do. "I'm gonna go fly in an airplane," says Smith.

"We always use our Young Eagles program, where we fly young kids from 8 to 17. It's a free airplane ride. It's to introduce kids to their first airplane experience. Most of the time, it's a real good experience," says Young Eagle President, Don Linberry.

Saturday, at the Angelina County Airport, 35 young East Texans fulfilled a dream, flying on these small planes for the first time. Young Eagle organizers hope it will inspire some of them to seek careers in aviation.

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