I have been asked to help out with a "Kids' Flying Day" on Sept 3, here
at Westfield, MA (BAF). This is not a BAC function.

One of the Tuskegee Airmen chapters (Negro Airmen International) will be
putting on a day of flying kids from the city. The idea is to encourage
them to stay in school by giving them a dream to fly. Or at least a
loftier goal than they are offered daily in the urban environment.

Anyway, NAI has several folks trucking up from Florida with a couple
planes; joining with some locals to perform the rides. As always,
weather permitting.

Charles Cross, Chapter President here in Westfield, met some of you
during our Fly-In at BAF and was impressed with our enthusiasm. He asked
if any of our folks in the New England area would be interested in
helping out. There are several ways he suggested that people could help.

The most dramatic way would, of course be to bring your plane and fly
some kids. Now, I know, there are all sorts of considerations with this.
And he understands these problems too. He's just asking.
Anyone who wishes to do this will be doing this as a freebie...no fuel,
no lodging if you stay over (the NAI folks are coming in Friday night to
get an early start on Saturday with the kids). And on your own
insurance, as far as I understand.

I asked Mr. Cross if NAI still has a formal relationship with EAA and,
thus, coverage under the "Young Eagles" program. He said that it is his
understanding that, sadly, this is no longer so. (Even if so, you would
need to be a card carrying EAA'er.)

Anyone who does wish to offer flights will need to register with NAI
before Aug 20th. They have to file papers with FAA with name, PPL#,
verified Medical, up to date everything for pilot and aircraft in order
to jump bureaucratic hoops.
Just so you know, I am NOT flying that day. I don't think our insurance
would allow it so I won't bother to ask my partners with the request.
Different if I owned 58L solely but...I don't. (Sigh...)

The other ways of helping, such as I will be doing, will be organizing
and entertaining the kids between flights; driving participating pilots
back and forth from wherever they are staying; running errands; and
dealing with food.
The upside of this is the opportunity to sit and talk flying with kids
who have never seen an airport up close...not to speak of an actual
airplane! Answering questions, calming anxiety, and possibly quelling
excessive youthful exuberance. And meeting some of the NAI folks. The
ones I have met are great.

As I said THIS IS NOT A BAC FUNCTION. Just to forestall
misunderstandings. NAI/Westfield is an old and respected Tuskegee
Airman's organization with an office right here on the field at
Barnes/Westfield. This involvement is a first for me too so I do not
know what to expect. But when I was seven years old I remember how Roger
Atwood introduced me to flight with a glint in his eye and bottomless
patience for my incessant questions. For me this is a chance to pass it
on 47 years later.

Give me a call or email if interested. I will pass you on to Charles
Cross. My office phone is 413-586-6065; home is 413-783-2446.

Steve Cote
Sundowner 1958L
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