Tuskegee Airmen National Museum inspiring kids to pursue aviation careers

For decades, program has been giving kids chance to fly planes for free

The Tuskegee Airmen National Museum in Detroit hopes it will inspire kids to pursue careers in aerospace engineering and aviation.
The Tuskegee Airmen National Museum in Detroit hopes it will inspire kids to pursue careers in aerospace engineering and aviation.

DETROIT – These pilots volunteered their time, planes and fuel to take dozens of kids up in the air. The Tuskegee Airmen National Museum in Detroit hopes it will inspire kids to pursue careers in aerospace engineering and aviation.

Related: Wreckage from Tuskegee Airmen plane crash on display at Detroit museum

“It was fun. You could see the whole city and the clouds,” said 16-year-old John Lagarde who wants to become a pilot when he grows up.

Whether it’s your first time flying or you have lost count, being the co-pilot of a powerful aircraft like this is always a thrill.

“It was really awesome. I was high up and felt in control,” said Lagarde.

“Everybody can’t go to flight school so just being able to fly a plane is a great opportunity.”

Nearly 100 kids got to fly in propeller planes and a helicopter Sunday at Detroit City Airport.

“This program is critical to youth in Detroit. They are not exposed to careers in aviation, aerospace science and engineering and the museum stands in a good position to introduce them to all the careers you could think of,” said Dr. Brian Smith, President and CEO of Tuskegee Airmen National Museum.

For two decades the Tuskegee Airmen National Museum’s Young Eagles program has been giving kids ages eight through 17 the chance to fly for free.

“We did not have these opportunities and I think that people are volunteering time and talents. It opens new doors, it’s really exciting,” said Jessica Enderle whose son flew on a helicopter.

“I’m thankful for this opportunity to get on it, I think it’s going to be fun,” said Lagarde.

If you think your child would like to participate, call 313-843-8849, visit the Young Eagles Day Registration Website or tuskegeemuseum.org.

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About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.