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Norcross man teaches young pilots

NORCROSS -- A local man is donating his time to giving young people flight demonstrations as part of the Experimental Aircraft Association's Young Eagles program.

David Balthaser of Norcross has now given more than 100 young people a flight free demonstration, while explaining the safe operation of airplanes and principles of aviation.

Young Eagles flights are provided by volunteers of the Experimental Aircraft Association like Balthaser, flying aircraft ranging from new airplanes to vintage biplanes as well as gliders, helicopters and hot air balloons.

Since 1992, pilots with the EAA Young Eagles have flown more than 1.6 million young people free of charge.

According to officials with the EAA Aviation Center, young people are five times more likely to become pilots once aboard one of the flights.

Former Young Eagles currently comprise more than seven percent of the nation's pilot population under age 35, as nearly 20,000 pilots are former participants.

A Young Eagles flight is the first step in EAA's Flight Plan, which aims to help young people move from an initial flight toward "the full potential of aviation."

According to EAA's website, the organization "embodies the spirit of aviation through the world's most engaged community of aviation enthusiasts."

For more information, visit www.youngeagles.org or www.eaa.org.