Gresham children associated with the Family of Friends mentorship program got the experience of a lifetime last month, as local pilots let them take the controls and fly planes across the skies.
The Experimental Aircraft Association Young Eagles Program Chapter 902 approached Family of Friends about the opportunity, and the local mentoring nonprofit jumped at the chance to provide participating children with a new experience.
Ten students, ranging from age 8 to 12, went with chaperones — a blend of parents and mentors — went to the Troutdale Airport on April 15. They learned about the mechanics behind aviation before flying around the area. All but one of them went up by themselves, and for many it was their first time in an airplane.
One of the children, Hunter, loved the experience even though he is afraid of heights and was nervous beforehand. Once the plane took off from the runway, he said all his anxiety vanished.