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Kids take to the skies
Up, up and away they went into the blue skies over Corning, as pilots took more than 100 kids on free flights as they participated in the annual Young Eagles Learn to Fly Day at the Corning Municipal Airport on Saturday.
"I want to be an Army pilot," exclaimed 12-year-old Seth Owensby as he recalled his flight. "I was really nervous at first as we took off, but then I got really excited. I even got to fly the plane."
Twelve volunteer pilots from Corning, Red Bluff and Redding made the event possible for the youngsters who had the opportunity to fly, some in airplanes and others in a R44 helicopter from Weaverville.
As 6-year-old Corning twins Isaac and Nicholas Carrillo proudly displayed their Young Eagles certificates following their helicopter flight, they said it was their first time to fly.
"I wasn't scared at all," said Isaac. "We went high and fast and we got to see the Sacramento River from high up. We both want to do it again."
For many, like the Carrillo brothers, this was a first time opportunity to take to the skies, but for Young Eagle pilot Tim Huckabay it was a common experience as he took his 300th Young Eagle flight during the event.
The day started off with a pancake breakfast, and then the line of children wanting to take flight began to take shape, and grew until the 111th youngster took to the skies.
Before each flight, the pilot taught his passengers about the aircraft and how it works. After the flight, each child received a Young Eagles certificate and photograph commemorating the experience.
Seamus Burnelle, 11, of Corning, said he was so excited about the day's experience he stayed up almost the entire night before thinking about it.
Each flight lasted about 20 minutes and emphasized the importance of safety.
The event was sponsored by the Experimental Aircraft Association local chapter, and included static displays, including the an under construction prototype of an electric powered aircraft being built by Brian Carpenter of Rainbow Aviation in Corning.