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2017 Fly-In
Pilots Fy Record 215 Young Eagles
CT 08 28 17

C-T Photo / Jaime Saucedo

The 25th annual EAA Chapter 944 Fly-In/Drive-In Event at Chillicothe Municipal Airport attracted more than 1,000 spectators on Saturday. Nine chapter pilots flew 215 Young Eagles. This breaks the local organization's all-time record for flying Young Eagles. Pilots participating include Don Bryan, Raymond Hamilton, Gary Jordan, Bill Kieffer, Bob Peniston, Marc Robertson, Randy Stockwell, Matt Trager and Phil Wise. This also marks the 25th year of the inception of the world wide Young Eagle's program. The program was established to provide an opportunity for young people, ages 8 to 17, to have the experience of flying in a small airplane free of charge.

The day began with breakfast serving 400-plus, followed with the Opening Ceremonies by the American Legion Honor Guard posting the Colors and the singing of the national anthem by Connie Martin. Gaylen Potter, the master of ceremonies, welcomed Mayor Chuck Haney whose opening remarks thanked the many sponsors and individuals who help in the support of the fly-in. Potter asked all veterans to come forward, followed by law enforcement agencies to be recognized. All were severed breakfast free of charge. Potter asked Cathie Hamilton to come forward to recognize Doyle Leppin for his service to EAA Chapter 944. Doyle was presented a plaque for serving as the Chapter's Young Eagles coordinator for 25 years and for his dedication by flying 665 Young Eagles for their first airplane ride. That mark currently ranks Leppin 180th, of more than 43,000 pilots in the worldwide program.

Lunch was provided by Wabash BBQ, serving over 300 meals. Twenty-six pilots from Missouri, Kansas and Texas were in attendance. The money raised by the fly-in will be used by EAA Chapter 944 to send several young adults to the Advanced Air Academy at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, next summer and to help fund the flying scholarships for the upcoming year. EAA Chapter 944 would like to thank everyone who had a part in making this year's fly-in a success. More than 250 businesses and individuals donated money or raffle items this year. There also were more than 75 volunteers from the local community. Hamilton noted that the chapter also wanted to thank RFD-TV for interviewing Gaylen Potter last week to promote the fly-in.

Annual Fly-In Held August 20, 2016
C-T Photos / Brett Shaffer

The 24th annual EAA Chapter 944 Breakfast Fly-In and Drive-In attracted between 650 and 700 people to the Chillicothe Municipal Airport on Saturday, and 152 Young Eagles were flown by EAA members. The day began with opening ceremonies by the American Legion Honor Guard posting the Colors and the singing of the national anthem led by Connie Martin. Larry Warren, retired American Legion commander, introduced veterans and representatives of local law enforcement agencies. Chillicothe Mayor Chuck Haney gave opening remarks and thanked the many Young Eagle sponsors and individuals who help support the fly-in.

Gaylen Potter served as the master of ceremonies and introduced Chapter 944 Advanced Air Academy participants who traveled to the week-long academy in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, last month. They are Brett Shaffer (Chillicothe), Kyle Elliott (Hamilton), Tony Garcia (Trenton), and Mason Taylor (Maysville). Also introduced was Dean Adkins (Chillicothe), a 2015 Advanced Air Academy scholarship recipient. Another recipient last year was Audrey Edmisson. Shaffer, Adkins and Edmisson are all Chillicothe High School seniors. Also introduced Saturday were the Learn to Fly Scholarship recipients for 2016. They are Kyle Elliott (Hamilton) and Mason Taylor (Maysville). The money raised from the EAA Chapter 944 Fly-In and Drive-In will be used to send several young adults to the Advanced Air Academy next year, and to help fund the Learn to Fly Scholarships for this past year.

Flights began by around 10:30 a.m. and continued until 2 p.m. Many of the 152 Young Eagles took their first airplane ride ever on Saturday. In addition to the Young Eagles, there were 47 adults (18 years of age and older) who took plane and helicopter rides. Ten pilots brought their planes to the event to fly youth around. Those pilots were: Don Bryan (Maysville), Randy Stockwell (Brookfield), Dyle Wilson (Trenton), Phillip Wise (Harris), and from Chillicothe: Raymond Hamilton, Bob Peniston, Bill Kieffer, Billy Kieffer, Matt Trager, and Larry Warren. Steve Leppin, of Milan, provided helicopter rides. Several organizations from the Chillicothe community set up booths for the event, and Stacie Pauls provided face painting for the youth. Event spokesperson Cathie Hamilton said she was pleased with this year's event. In addition to donations, funds were raised through a pancake breakfast, lunch and raffles. More than 300 breakfasts were served and approximately 150 lunches were served.

By Brian Shaffer


Young Eagles Experience Flight at 23rd Annual Fly-In
By Brittany Tutt
August 24, 2015

C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley
163 Young Eagles taking airplane rides Saturday morning. Pilot is Randy Stockwell.

The 23rd annual EAA Chapter 944 Breakfast Fly-In / Drive In attracted an estimated 650 people to the Chillicothe Municipal Airport on Saturday, and 163 Young Eagles were flown by EAA members. Fifty-two adults took airplane rides and 10 helicopter rides were also given, according to event spokesperson Cathie Hamilton.

Twelve pilots brought their planes to the event to fly youth around. Those pilots were: Don Bryan, Raymond Hamilton, Bill Kieffer, Bob Peniston, Bill Singer, Randy Stockwell, Marc Robertson, Larry Warren, Dyle Wilson, Gary Jordan, Matt Trager and Eric Evans. These EAA member pilots flew in from all over the area including Brookfield, Milan, Trenton, Osborn, Cameron, Hale and Chillicothe. There were also pilots who flew in from Concordia, Marceline, Elmer, Lee's Summit, Maryville, Excelsior Springs, Dearborn and the Roosterville Airport.

C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

Hamilton said the event went wonderfully, thanks to all the sponsors, supporters and people who attended. The Chillicothe Fire Department, police department, museum, Honor Guard and Chillicothe Mayor Chuck Haney were all in attendance. Representatives from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, as well as the National Guard were in attendance. A local woodcarving group was represented as were the local Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Pilots for Christ and many more organizations. Breakfast and lunch were served to 425 people, and about 60 kids got their faces painted.

The local EAA raised enough money to send youth to the Advanced Air Academy again and help others get their pilot license, Hamilton said.

See 2010 Fly-In News and Photos >>
See 2009 Fly-In News and Photos >>

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