Fledgling aviators from 8 to 17 years old will have an opportunity to climb into the cockpit and experience flight from a pilot’s perspective Saturday at Pearson Field Education Center, 201A East Reserve St., Vancouver.
The free Open Cockpit Day airplane rides are provided by Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 105.
Open Cockpit Day sparks interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs “and opens young people’s eyes to the many career opportunities in and around aviation,” said Chris Griffin, named director of the Pearson Field Education Center earlier this month.
“My introduction to flight was a very special day. Flying gave me a view of the world I had never had,” Griffin, who has worked as a corporate pilot, said in a news release. “To experience that level of freedom and actually control an aircraft in flight was life-changing and inspired me to become a pilot.”
Flights begin at 10 a.m., weather permitting. Flights are first-come, first-served; on-site registration begins at 9:30 a.m. Parents or legal guardians must be present.
Regular Saturday activities include the flight simulator lab, vertical wind table, glider building, tinker-maker space and historic aircraft displays. The education center is a program of The Historic Trust.