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Free introductory plane rides offered

Area youth ages 8-17 who are interested in aviation will have an opportunity to take a free introductory plane ride Saturday, June 23.

The event, hosted by Bemidji Chapter 1397 EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) will be held at the Bemidji Regional Airport Terminal building from 7 a.m. until noon.

A parent or guardian must be present. Pre-registration by Wednesday, June 20 is encouraged. Registration forms are available at Bemidji Aviation, online at the Chapter 1397 website,, or on site from 7 to 10 a.m. at the event on June 23.

The Young Eagles program was launched in 1992. Since then, volunteer EAA pilots have flown more than 1.4 million young people who reside in more than 90 countries.

"Introductory airplane rides are just part of the Young Eagles program," said Harold Cotant, chairperson of the event. "We hope to build one-to-one relationships between pilots and young people, giving a new generation a chance to learn more about the possibilities that exist in the world of aviation."

Following the flight, each young person, will receive a certificate making them an official Young Eagle.

Their name will then be entered into the "World's Largest Logbook," which is on permanent display at the EAA Air Adventure Museum in Oshkosh, Wis. Young Eagles can also sign up for a free EAA student membership, good to age 18, which includes the online Sports Aviation magazine, an e-newsletter, and more.

Aviation scholarships are also available as is free ground school offered through Sporty's Pilot Shop.

For more information about the Bemidji Young Eagles flights, see the Bemidji Chapter 1397 website or contact Harold Cotant 218-224-2585.