Ireland Chapter Inspires Future Pilots

Ireland Chapter Inspires Future Pilots

EAA Chapter 1597 in Limerick, Ireland, held its second large Young Eagles event of the year on Saturday, May 20, flying a class of young women taking their transition year (approximately the same age as U.S. freshmen) at local secondary school Ardscoil Mhuire.

“We all love flying and not many people ‘get it,’” said Gerry Ryan, president of Chapter 1597. “A lot of people look upon flying as an elitist sport and we are out to change that stereotype. Chapter 1597 draws its members from Limerick Flying Club and we love a ‘bit of craic’ and any excuse to get airborne. With that in mind, Young Eagles is a great way to mobilize your flying buddies to get involved in a great day that allows young people to experience flight right there in the cockpit.”

Six airplanes and eight pilots participated in the event, along with eight additional chapter members and Gerry’s 9-year-old daughter volunteering on the ground. Following refreshments and a preflight and safety briefing the girls were ready for their flights.

“We emphasized that the day was all about fun, but told the girls that our aim was to also plant the seed of possibilities in their minds that aviation could open up an entirely different world for them and to perhaps consider aviation as a career,” Gerry said.

Thanks to the willingness of Chapter 1597’s members to share their passion for flight, a few seeds were planted that day. The girls’ teacher reached out the next week to say several of the girls were still talking about their flights the following Monday, and a post on the school’s Facebook page said more than one student is now considering a future in the skies.

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Megan, EAA 1171719, is EAA’s staff writer, regularly contributing to both print and digital publications. She’s an aspiring pilot, a passionate aviation enthusiast, and an avid learner of just about everything. E-mail Megan at