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Youth learn the joys of flying at Young Eagles Day
Young Eagles
Aidan Padilla gives a thumbs up as he and pilot Phillip Boyett take off for a flight in a Piper Warrior II during the Young Eagles event in 2017 (Journal file photo).

Ever wonder what it would be like to fly high above Turlock and see the city from a bird’s eye view?

Well, on Oct. 28, kids from ages 8 to 17 can do exactly that as part of the Young Eagles Day at Turlock Municipal Airport from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Chapter 90 of the Experimental Aircraft Association, based in Oakdale, is hosting the event, along with the Turlock Regional Aviation Association.

And the best part: the flights are free.

“Imagine for a moment you could have all the money that you could imagine,” said local pilot James Lindly, who will be taking up passengers in his 1972 Grumman Traveler. “But there’s one stipulation: you can’t share the money with anyone. It wouldn’t be as much fun, would it? Well, it’s the same in aviation. It’s a joy to be able to share something that you really like.

“After you’ve been up in the air hundreds of times for thousands of hours, it’s still fun when you see somebody’s face light up. It’s like flying for the first time all over again.”

First, pilots will explain how airplanes work and describe the interior of the airplane, including the instrument panel and aeronautical charts. Then they’re off into the wild blue yonder.

“Our plan is to fly around Turlock,” said Lindly, who’s been a pilot for 17 years. “We have an abbreviated course for the slower airplanes, but the route will go from Turlock Municipal Airport to the northeast corner of Denair, then due west along the north side of Taylor Road. We’ll cross Highway 99 and then southeast to Turlock Airpark, and then from there east-northeast to the intersection of East and Santa Fe avenues, and then we’ll enter the pattern for landing.”

In all it’s about 80 miles and will take about 20 minutes.

Kids will get a certificate for their completed flight and an official pilot’s log book with the first flight entered into it.

To register for the event, visit and click on the “Register for Event” button for the Oct. 28 Turlock event. 

Through Tuesday, 15 kids had registered for flights. According to Lindly, registration will top out at about 100.

The pilots who participate in the Young Eagles program are local members of EAA who are volunteering their time and aircraft to make each flight possible. Each pilot is certificated with the Federal Aviation Administration or Transport Canada. Flights are conducted according to federal regulations and no aerobatic maneuvers will be performed.