“It’s a beautiful day for flying,” Cache Makers co-founder Kevin Reeves said, looking out of the window at the runway at the Logan-Cache Airport as four young girls and their families waited anxiously for instruction.
Sixteen girls from Cache Valley between the ages of 10 and 17 flew an airplane at the completion of the 4-H Cache Makers Girls Aviation Program on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.
“I just wanted to learn how to fly an airplane,” 11-year-old participant Maggie Morris said. “I have never been on an airplane before and just thought it’d be a fun experience.”
The program has a science, technology, engineering and math approach as it teaches participants about aerodynamics, calculating fuel and how airplanes are built.
“It’s not very hard,” Morris said. “It’s just fun. It’s easy to learn and do.”
During the six weeks the girls participated in the program, they were mentored by members of USU Women in Aviation as they learned the ins and outs of aviation, flew a simulator and went to the machine shop to rivet metal and learn how airplanes are made.
To conclude the program, the girls had the opportunity to copilot an airplane for 20 to 30 minutes while in the air.
The program was established by 4-H Cache Makers and Utah State University Women in Aviation Society to spark interest in young girls in aviation, according to Reeves.
“The number of female pilots is really low,” Reeves said “This is a self-confidence builder.”
Parents, siblings and grandparents were also present at the airport to watch the young girls as their airplanes took off and landed. One of the parents present, Jamie Makin, said the program would help build up her daughter’s confidence.
“I think it’s a self-esteem booster for kids to try things like this,” Makin said.
With many of her family members in the aviation industry, Makin said the program gave her daughter, Mirah, an opportunity to try out aviation.
“Flight stuff is kind of in our blood a little bit,” Makin said.
During its third year, the 4-H Cache Makers Girls Aviation Program has had a great impact on this year’s participants. Ten-year-old Natalie Petith said she had fun learning about aviation.
“It’s really fun and a good way to learn,” Petith said.