Story and photo by Beth Robinson
At the September Fly-in at Clinton’s Municipal Airport, the local Aviation Chapter of EAA was signing up students, 8-17 years of age, for free Young Eagle flights.
Amongst those “youngsters” coming to sign up was 80-year-old Loreda Ellis from Clinton. Though she didn’t qualify for a Young Eagles flight, when the local pilots heard that a flight in a small plane was on her life’s bucket list, it became something they decided to make happen.
So, on Oct. 26, in addition to flying seven Young Eagles, Loreda Ellis also received a free flight in a 1947 Stinson, a beautiful airplane rebuilt, owned and flown by Mike Hardison of Holley Mountain Airpark. Hardison’s “paid” job is as a captain on American Airlines.
Mike and Loreda had a wonderful flight together, which they will both remember forever. And, the local youngsters who flew with other EAA chapter pilots, not only enjoyed their flights, but were pleased to see this octogenarian take to the skies.
This area has many pilots who love to share their passion for flight, and this was one example of that.
Ellis noted afterward that Oct. 26 was “make a difference day,” and she said that ride surely made a difference in her life.