By Sherry Niederkorn, EAA 1277308
Almost one year after the Flying Start event held at Geauga County Airport (7G8) in Ohio, EAA Chapter 5 hosted a reunion for all the Flying Start participants. There were 24 participants on the original roster and a good percentage of them found their way back to the hangar for the reunion. It has been a challenging year with the pandemic guiding us, but our chapter was interested in learning about the progress that had been made since the original event held on August 23, 2020. It was amazing to discover that some of the participants were still able to take some ground school courses, take an Eagle Flight with their mentor pilot, fly with an instructor, take a few lessons, and get closer to their dream of learning to fly. All this despite the challenges that also included those presented by Mother Nature.
During the evening, we also had a recognition ceremony for the mentor pilots. These mentor pilots volunteered their time to give the adult Flying Start participants an Eagle Flight and served as a mentor to the participants to answer any questions they might have and to help guide them along their way. It is still an ongoing process, but EAA Chapter 5 took a moment on August 16, 2021, to recognize the men
tor pilots with an EAA patch and rocker as a token of appreciation for all they have done up to this point. Flying Start Coordinator Sherry Niederkorn presented the patches and rockers to mentor pilots Tim Niederkorn, Randy Sweet, Jeff Barlett, Jared Miller, Rob Miller, Brian Szuter, and Don Cunningham. Those mentor pilots not able to attend were Tony Debevc, Rick Katai, Paul Manion, and Dave Nuss.
As a part of our monthly program meetings, everyone in attendance was then treated to a program on hot air ballooning by EAA Chapter 5 members Sandra and Jeff Barlett.
The evening concluded with a cake and ice cream reception where chapter members, Flying Start participants, mentor pilots, and guests mingled about networking and sharing stories about aviation.