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EAA Chapter 272
YOUNG EAGLES

EAA272 IS THE WINNER OF THE 2004 YOUNG EAGLES HORIZON AWARD
recognizing the chapter as one of the major contributors to youth in aviation

Dreams…The catalyst for achievement
By Eugene Cernan

As a young boy growing up in Chicago during the 1940s, I can vividly remember watching the black-and-white Movietone news reels of World War II footage. I can even remember watching footage of military aviation legends such as Joe Foss, Bob Hoover, and “Tex” Hill.

It was during this period in my life that the seed of a dream was planted within me to someday experience the thrill of landing aboard an aircraft carrier. Little did I know that this dream would one day inspire me to not only accomplish this feat, but would challenge me to go where few men had gone before.

Being well known as “the last man on the moon,” people are often surprised when I tell them that I don’t believe the Wright brothers’ most important legacy is space flight, commercial aviation, or technological advancement. Rather, the lasting contribution made to mankind on that historic day in December 1903 is one of inspiration, motivation, and the excitement found within all of us who follow in the footsteps of Orville and Wilbur Wright.

Since that first flight at Kitty Hawk, aviation has had a romantic hold over our collective imagination. It’s this incredible passion stemming from the Wright brothers’ accomplishment which has been passed on from one generation of dreamers to the next. Yet, unlike so many other things in life which bloom and then fade away, aviation hasn’t come and gone—it has only grown.

This seemingly endless source of inspiration creates a profound affect on each of us, regardless of age. But the dream of flight is most potent in the minds of the young, which is precisely why EAA’s youth education programs are so indispensable. They’re the hook for kids which makes learning fun. And if you can make learning fun, you can teach a child anything. This sense of enjoyment becomes a natural catalyst for young people to want to learn more. The more they learn, the more they want to learn.

Take the EAA Young Eagles program, for instance. It’s not just a free flight experience. Kids want to learn more and do more because of it. What follows is the acquisition of knowledge, discipline, and good judgment. Characteristics that are key to them becoming productive, responsible adults. Don’t we all have a responsibility to provide these tools to kids in order to help them accomplish the things they didn’t think they were capable of?

Growing up, my dad used to tell me “Always do your best.” This is a message I also passed on to my own children, and now my grandchildren. When I hear one of them doubting their potential, my response is the same: “You tell me what you cannot do if you want it badly enough. If I can walk on the moon, you can do anything.”

That sense of endless possibility is one of the reasons the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh air show exists. It features pilots who push the limits of what we think is possible. How often have you seen parents and their children watch in awe as airplanes perform the impossible? But it’s what EAA does the other 51 weeks of the year through programs like Young Eagles, Air Academy, and AeroScholars that’s truly significant. EAA has become the foundation of aviation inspiration. The organization encourages young people to reach for their dreams while instilling the work ethic to achieve them. I’ve always challenged young people to dream the impossible, then go out and make it happen.

Even if we influence just a few kids through aviation, I consider that a worthwhile effort. Passing along the spirit of the Wright brothers to our youth ensures that succeeding generations will continue to dream great things and achieve greater ones. If I’ve learned one lesson during my 72 years on this planet (well, mostly on this planet), it’s that we must always shoot for the moon, because even if we miss, we’ll still land somewhere among the stars.

 

CHAPTER 272
TOTAL TO DATE

5,727

Pilot

City, State

Flights

Pilot ID

Last Flight

William Irving

Duluth, MN

821

28466

5/2/2015

Alan White

Superior, WI

684

22525

6/13/2015

John Whelan

Duluth, MN

612

13113

5/18/2004

Thomas Betts

Duluth, MN

604

1853

4/18/2015

Robert Sharkey

Esko, MN

330

38556

3/29/2008

Gregory Peterson

Superior, WI

302

22504

3/29/2008

Richard Nelson

Minong, WI

260

37427

10/22/2008

William Amorde

Superior, WI

189

36432

6/26/2012

Leonard Brunette

Superior, WI

166

35831

10/20/2008

James Johnson

Hermantown, MN

131

908

7/4/1998

Betty Ramsland

Duluth, MN

123

19564

6/23/2010

Walter Gower

Duluth, MN

113

33526

5/18/2004

John Baesemann

Prescott Valley, AZ

106

12539

1/27/2001

Gail Millard

Superior, WI

90

19563

5/10/2002

Dale Nordwall

Duluth, MN

79

13115

6/9/2001

Frank Tahtinen

Duluth, MN

57

26964

7/7/2007

Henry Sedin

Solon Springs, WI

56

35714

7/2/2005

Faris Keeling

Duluth, MN

55

30871

10/24/2006

Mike Busch

Duluth, MN

50

12543

5/16/2015

David Twining

Duluth, MN

50

2082

7/18/2003

Jon Dauplaise

Duluth, MN

49

40310

7/1/2006

Ryan Klapmeier

Duluth, MN

48

1113338

5/16/2015

Eugene Marsolek

Duluth, MN

46

28467

6/3/2000

Thomas Sullivan

Duluth, MN

44

48129

6/8/2013

Jim Nelson

Superior, WI

42

46862

5/2/2015

Francis Kolo

Duluth, MN

40

2081

4/18/1998

James Hayes

Duluth, MN

37

20775

6/18/2005

Lyle Huffman

Duluth, MN

37

2072

7/4/1998

Lance Johnson

Duluth, MN

36

1035476

6/11/2014

Jonathan Massier

Superior, WI

36

38567

7/3/2004

Jeff Levine

Duluth, MN

35

39750

2/28/2009

Glenn Christensen

Duluth, MN

34

13114

5/10/2001

Carri Hoagland

Port Wing, WI

32

14834

9/28/2013

David Bergsland

Corydon, IN

30

33527

5/7/2002

Gary Lemasters

Cloquet, MN

27

41974

8/12/2010

Aaron Weiss

Redmond, OR

25

1052325

5/16/2015

Jack Culley

Saint Petersburg, FL

24

40311

7/1/2006

Gail Baldwin

South Range, WI

18

28462

6/18/2005

Michael Gardonio

Duluth, MN

18

5345

5/2/2015

Paul Diedrich

Duluth, MN

16

28464

2/4/2012

Keith Bischoff

Duluth, MN

14

41233

2/28/2006

Carl Dahlin

Superior, WI

14

38565

5/25/2004

Bernie Tanski

Hermantown, MN

13

15798

5/29/1997

Gilbert Buettner

Wausau, WI

12

28463

6/3/2013

David Evans

Superior, WI

12

23210

7/4/1998

Reid Shallow

Hermantown, MN

12

38555

7/11/2004

Jeffrey Foster

Duluth, MN

10

38566

5/26/2004

Chad Twedt

Wrenshall, MN

10

45188

2/28/2009

Robert Cotter

Duluth, MN

9

286374

3/29/2014

Elizabeth Heizler

Saginaw, MN

8

1086110

9/7/2013

Bradley DeGusseme

Duluth, MN

7

1169509

5/2/2015

Arnold Odegaard

Cloquet, MN

7

36431

7/9/2003

Chelsea Welch

Hermantown, MN

7

45189

2/28/2009

Glenn McGill

Duluth, MN

6

8947

11/24/1994

Scott Preston

Cloquet, MN

6

47553

9/11/2010

Richard Johnson

Duluth, MN

5

11009

10/15/1994

Clifford Santa

Duluth, MN

5

27154

11/4/2001

Ross Christensen

Maite,

4

19788

6/14/1997

Tom Dombeck

Everett, WA

4

37426

10/19/2003

Julius Salinas

Esko, MN

4

47947

5/25/2011

James Brown

Duluth, MN

2

14948

10/22/1995

Paul Diedrich

Duluth, MN

2

1004297

3/17/2012

Eric Monson

Hermantown, MN

2

45187

2/28/2009

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