Inspired by World War II fighter pilots—The Tuskegee Airmen—the organization gives youth an opportunity to explore the world of aviation.
Coordinated through the efforts of the Bronze Eagles Flying Club, Greater Waco Aviation Alliance, TSTC, The Waco Chapter of The Links, Inc., and various other volunteers, the event offers students across McLennan County exposure to the aviation and aerospace career opportunities available from local employers and beyond.
In addition to the presence of local companies and career paths, more than 20 pilots will provide airplane rides to youth via private aircrafts further add to their aviation experience.
The Bronze Eagles Flying Club (BEFC) of Texas is a nonprofit charity flying organization and chapter of the Black Pilots of America (BPA).
“We help disadvantaged youth in their endeavors toward higher education, particularly in the field of aviation,” said Connecting Link Jesse Hayes, who was instrumental in bringing the program to Waco.
The organization also offers a variety of services including free familiarization flights, free aviation career training, and a National Summer Flight Academy for eligible students.
The inaugural Waco Youth Fly-in, held last Oct. 22 at the Texas State Technical College Airport, was a resounding success.
"This is a great program for the community," said Demetra Kennedy, Waco Chapter of The Links Fly-In chair, who estimates that more than 205 children attended last year. "People have asked us to repeat the Fly-in."
In addition to Fly-ins, the group participates in flying competitions, including the BPA’s annual Operation Skyhook competition in Pine Bluff, Ark.