First Chapter-Flown Eagle Flight Recorded
Harry Saint-Germain, left, holds up an Eagle Flight form after his flight with Duane Huff of EAA Chapter 690. (©2012 John Slemp/Aerographs)
August 8, 2012 - Harry Saint-Germain, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, wants to be a pilot. He states as much on his Facebook page: "I love to watch hockey and flying on airplanes. I would like to be a pilot."
A few months ago, Saint-Germain, 20, contacted Duane Huff, member of EAA Chapter 690 based at Gwinnett County Airport, Briscoe Field (LZU), asking about the Young Eagles program. Although Huff, EAA 232281, was impressed with Saint Germain's interest in an introductory flight, Young Eagles is for kids ages 8-17.
But he told him to call back after AirVenture, where EAA's new Eagle Flights program - one that caters to adults who want to learn how to fly - was to be launched.
Saint-Germain called back July 31, two days after the convention. Two days after that they took off from LZU in Huff's 1947 Aeronca Chief for a 30-minute flight around the area. It was the first reported EAA Eagle Flight from an EAA chapter since EAA President/CEO Rod Hightower made the inaugural Eagle Flight with Diane Thornton on Tuesday, July 24.
Huff has flown 670 Young Eagles in his Chief, which he spent six years restoring in the late 1980s/early 1990s. He met Saint-Germain at his hangar on Thursday morning. "We completed the Eagle Flight form that I brought from Oshkosh," Huff said.
Fellow member John Slemp hand-propped the Chief, and Huff and Saint-Germain listened to the AWOS while the engine warmed up. After contacting the tower, they made a long taxi roll during which Huff explained all the instruments. Soon after engine run-up, mags check, carburetor heat, and tower call, they were cleared for takeoff.
They left the ground fairly quickly; Harry Saint-Germain was flying in a small plane for the first time in EAA's first chapter-borne Eagle Flight. They overflew local landmarks like the Mall of Georgia and Lake Lanier. Huff showed Saint-Germain how to maneuver the airplane, go up and down, and make right and left turns.
"Harry's grin on his face and his questions throughout the flight let me know that he really enjoyed the flight," Huff said.
They headed back to the field, contacted the tower, and at 2 miles out on right base, permission to land was granted. After a nice three-point landing, they taxied back to the hangar and the first Eagle Flight by an EAA chapter member was in the logbooks.
To learn more, visit the Eagle Flights website, or call 800-557-2376.