NORRIDGEWOCK, Maine — Area youths will have a chance to ride in the skies above central Maine early next month as a Young Eagles Flight Rally will highlight a day of aviation activities at Central Maine Regional Airport.
The Young Eagles Flight Rally, in which boys and girls ages 8 to 17 will have a chance to take a ride in an aircraft between 9 a.m. to noon, is part of the day-long, 15th annual Anything that Flies Fly-In on Aug. 6.
Activities will run until 7 p.m. and will feature activities for the whole family.
The flights are free, but space is limited. The rain date is Aug. 7.
The Experimental Aircraft Association’s Young Eagles program is a nationwide effort launched in 1992 to interest youths in aviation. Since its inception, volunteer pilots with the group have flown more than 1.4 million young people from more than 90 countries.
“Part of the thing that keeps this thing going is the Young Eagles program,” said Ben Brown of the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Young Eagles program.
Brown said that 86 youngsters experienced a flight last summer in Norridgewock, while 63 airplanes were on display.
“If we get 60 to 65 airplanes we always consider that a success,” he said. “I suspect we’ll have pretty good numbers.”
After the youngsters complete their respective flights, they garner a certificate, making them an official Young Eagles.
“That’s what draws a lot of people there,” said Brown, referring to the Young Eagles program and the fact that parents can check out historic aircraft on the ground while their kids are in the air.
Brown added that the number of young people who go up in each plane will be determined by how many seats are in the aircraft.
“We try to fill the plane with kids,” he said. “If it’s a two-seater, there will be the pilot and the kid.” But if there are four seats in the plane, three youngsters will ride in that aircraft, along with the pilot.
Those who plan on participating in the Young Eagles program are asked to be at the airport at 9 a.m. to register for their flights.
A pancake breakfast will be served from 7 to 10:30 a.m., and a spaghetti supper will take place from 5 from 7 p.m., rain or shine.
The day’s festivities also will feature a climbing wall, face painting, games, antique cars and tractors, a candy drop at 3:30 p.m., music and entertainment.
A raffle for 50 pounds of lobster and Boston Red Sox tickets also will be included.
Admission and parking are free, and refreshments will be served throughout the day.