TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Zelienople experimental aircraft group gives youngsters free flight time

Heidi Murrin | Tribune-Review
Eli Gross, 11, front, and his brother Tanner, 13, of Mars, get a hands-on explanation of fight controls inside a Cessna 172 cockpit from Tim Jesteadt, 18, of Marshall at the Zelinople Municipal Airport Saturday, March 23, 2013. Jesteadt was working on his senior project introducing young people to flying with the help of the Experimental Aircraft Association 857 and Young Eagles.

Details

More information about the Experimental Aircraft Association and the Young Eagles program is available from www.857.eaachapter.org.

Saturday, March 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Brothers Eli and Tanner Gross soared hundreds of feet over Butler County Saturday, enjoying a nearly picture-perfect view of Moraine State Park and Lake Arthur from a small Cessna airplane.

“It was really awesome to see all the crazy stuff,” said Eli, 11, of Seven Fields, adding that he was only a bit nervous when his brother, 13, briefly took the controls from pilot Larry Schaefer.

Six volunteer pilots with the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 857, based out of the Zelienople Airport in Franklin, Beaver County, took to the skies for their Young Eagles program, which offers youths a chance for some free flight time. Though the event is held several times a year by the group, Saturday's flights were organized by high school seniors Kyle Gallagher and Tim Jesteadt, both association members and participants in the Young Eagles program.

“I thought this would be a good opportunity to show people what it's all about,” said Jesteadt, 18, of Marshall, a senior at Eden Christian Academy who is working toward his pilot's license.

“Maybe I can get other kids thinking about (flying) as a career,” said Gallagher, 17, of Cranberry, a senior at Seneca Valley High School, who hopes to have his pilot's license within the next couple of months. “I've always liked aviation since I was 5.”

Jesteadt and Gallagher spread the word through their schools about their projects, and 15 children and teens took the free flights. Club members gave them an orientation on the history of flying, and sat them in the cockpit of a plane in an airport hanger and showed them the controls that the pilots use to fly the craft.

Jesteadt took his girlfriend, Cianna Nuzzo, 18, a Seneca Valley senior, on a flight. When they landed, Jesteadt had his father, Ron, hold a sign along the runway asking Nuzzo to go to the prom with Tim Jesteadt. (She said yes, by the way.)

Eli and Tanner Gross are students at Eden, and their mother, Kelly Gross, 41, is a teacher there.

Gross said after the flight that her older son said he “didn't have words to describe” how much he liked it.

Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

 

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Butler

  1. CV Elementary teachers think about math process
  2. Renewed awareness of ALS gives hope to those with disease in Butler County and beyond
  3. Butler County task force aims to raise awareness about suicide
  4. Butler City Council bans exotic pets from events
  5. New police chief position could be in works for Cranberry
  6. XTO to rework application to drill near Moraine State Park
  7. Jackson police cite escalating violence in murder-suicide case
  8. Seneca Valley welcomes Best Buddies club
  9. Butler motorists can pay for parking with new app
  10. Skateboarding popularity ramps up concerns in Zelienople
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.