Free aviation program offered in Grand Ledge

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Local business Grand Air Aviation Inc. is offering free opportunities and a low-cost program for youth interested in exploring aviation.

Corporate Sponsor of ExploringPeter J. Kamarainen said the Young Eagles program also allows children eight-17 to take a free airplane ride.

“Then, they will be allowed to have a free ground school which is a $200 value,” Kamarainen said. “Their first flight lesson is free as well.”

Kamarainen said the program is designed to get kids excited about aviation.

“This program is designed to introduce the next generation of aviators, the next generation of aerospace engineers, or drone operators,” Kamarainen said. “A lot of kids don’t know they can really be an airline pilot. A lot of kids didn’t know we had an airport here in Grand Ledge.”

Kamarainen said the goal is to give back to the community.

Click below to listen to Kamarainen’s interview in its entirety.

Flight supervisor Helen Hagg said Aviation Explorers Post 1060 is under the Boy Scouts of America’s initiative Learning for Life.

“We teach them soft skill in different programs,” Hagg said. “There is a police post, cyber security, and aviation.”

Hagg said the students lead the program themselves by electing a president, vice president, secretary, and treasure among the kids.

“It’s built for them to grow in leadership and become career ready,” Hagg said.

Hagg said the industry of aviation can be applied to any field.

“If someone comes to me and tells me they want to be a doctor, I can pinpoint that to aviation,” Hagg said. “They could be a medivac doctor where you are actually in the air plane helping a sick patient in the helicopter. They can come to our program and latch onto one of those fields they may be interested in and skyrocket out of there, going along that aviation career path.”

Click below to listen to Hagg’s interview about STEM within aviation.

11th grade Ayla Adams was a participant in the Young Eagle program and is now apart of the Aviation Explorers Post 1060. She said her family members inspired her interest in aviation.

“My grandpa was in the Air Force and that kind of inspired me to work in aviation,” Adams said. “My mom started to take an interest into the Beacon Airport.”

Adams said she hasn’t been apart of the post for a long time but, has already learned some skills.

“So far I have learned a little bit more about how to pilot a plane and some navigation work,” Adams said. “We went to the Lansing Airport to tour the traffic control airport. It had been a lot of new experiences.”

Adams said she has improved on her leadership and communication skills.

“It has helped me meet different people and kind of break out of my shell,” Adams said.

The program is geared toward students the age of 14-20. If you are interested in joining the Aviation Explorers Post 1060 for an affordable price or Young Eagles, contact Grand Air Aviation, Inc.

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