News • June 14, 2021

Young Eagles event helps youths take flight

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Riverside, Calif. (June 14, 2021) – Zayanna Mejico, 11, was a little intimidated to go up in a small aircraft. That changed after participating at a Young Eagles event, sponsored by Experimental Aircraft Association and hosted by California Baptist University at the Riverside Municipal Airport on June 12.

“Flying in the plane was really awesome. I was actually nervous before flying in the plane, but now I want to learn to fly one myself,” Mejico said. “I have been in airplanes to go to different places, but it wasn’t this low where you can see everything.”

Experimental Aircraft Association aims to introduce children to aviation through its Young Eagles program. At the event, more than 20 youths ages 8-17 learned about planes, tried CBU’s aircraft simulators, and took a 20-minute plane ride.

Tyler Powell and Chris Salazar, both flight instructor II at CBU, were among the pilots who volunteered to provide flights. CBU students helped on the ground.

“It gives the opportunity for us pilots to show the younger generation the beauty of aviation and the passion we have for the industry,” Salazar said. “Maybe even inspiring them to one day become a pilot, whether professional or recreational.”

Powell said he got into aviation as a teenager when someone offered him a plane ride.

“Everyone thinks flying is standing in the security line at airport terminals. That’s far from the truth,” said Powell, coordinator for the local Young Eagles chapter. “It’s cool to see what aviation is.”

Andy Manriquez, 17, a graduate of Avery Downey High School, was excited to participate.

“I was already familiar with flying in a plane, but it was my first time flying in a small low-wing aircraft, which was fun,” Manriquez said. “I want to get as much experience as I can flying, because I want to get my private pilot’s license in the future.”

Abraham Gustafson, 13 and a student at Riverside STEM Academy, said he enjoyed the experience.

“It was great getting to look out of the plane and learning how to fly,” Gustafson said. “I really got to see close up how the pilot flew the plane and how he would turn.”

Contact CBU Marketing and Communication

Vice President for Marketing and Communication:
Angela Meluski
Email: ameluski@calbaptist.edu

8432 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504