Young Eagles Program: Parents Perspective

For a year or two, my teenage daughter had been telling me that she wanted to learn to fly. As my favourite part of flying is when the aircraft has come to a complete standstill at the Airport terminal, I couldn’t understand where she got this passion to learn to fly from!!

Just by chance, I came across an advertisement for the Young Eagles Program run by the Royal Aero Club, for children aged between 10-14 years. With my extensive fear of flying, I was reluctant to enrol her. However, I am glad I did!! The moment I walked in to the Royal Aero Club and met the staff, I was instantly put at ease and felt confident my daughter was in safe hands with the aviation professionals running the course.

This activity-based program allowed the students to become absorbed in, and learn about various areas of the aviation industry. Every night my daughter enthusiastically told me about what they had been doing throughout their day. The activities included touring the police Air Wing, RAC rescue, examining the Boeing training aircraft, touring the Jandakot airport grounds, as well as a trip to the Aviation Museum and Model Aircraft Centre. In addition, the participants were given the opportunity to look in and around the aircraft fleet, learn about the safety procedures for aircraft related emergencies, plan a flight path, study radio procedures, undertake pre-flight checks and on the last day, the students were taken on a scenic flight over Perth and Rottnest Island.

As you can imagine, due to my extensive fear of flying, my anxiety levels were peaking and nausea had set in. The thought of my only child going up in a tiny little aircraft didn’t sit well with me!!! But again, I was put at ease by the reassuring staff and professional pilot who I was trusting with my daughter’s life!! The moment that little Cessna touched down I could finally breathe. As the kids walked along the tarmac, with a spring in their steps and huge smiles on their faces, it was clear they’d had an amazing experience and some lifelong memories made!!

What an incredible opportunity the Royal Aero Club provides for children who are interested in aviation, whether that be for a career or just for fun! Since that moment my daughter touch down on the Jandakot tarmac, all she has wanted to do is learn to fly and study anything and everything about aviation. So now, every week, she puts on her Royal Aero Club fluro-vest and has a flying lesson with a remarkable and patient instructor. And every week I wait for the little Cessna to touchdown on the tarmac so I can breathe!!

But it’s worth every bit of anxiety I experience to see my teenage daughter happy and focused on something she loves!! Thank you, Royal Aero Club, for offering this outstanding program.

Kerryn Wallis