Photo by Billy Huynh on Unsplash.com

Airplane Adventures in West Michigan

The love of flight is one that can be nurtured with experience in the air but flights can be costly and hard to come by for many.

This is a prime reason that pilot members of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) provide free flights to kids at their Young Eagles Rallies in Mason, Oceana, and Grand Traverse Counties every year. Young Eagles Rallies happen annually all over the country to nurture the love of flight and, to date, over 2 million kids have received free flights through the Young Eagles Program.

Mason County Young Eagles

The Experimental Aircraft Association 772/Mason County Pilot’s Association host their annual Young Eagles Rally each July at the Mason County Airport- 5530 W. US 10 in Ludington. At the event, kids ages 8-17 are invited to take a free airplane ride with a local pilot. Pilots involved in the event donate their time and use of their aircraft.

Families are encouraged to arrive early as the event fills up quickly. All kids must be accompanied by a parent or guardian in order to fly. The 2021 Ludington Eagles Rally provided free plane rides to 130 kids.

The 2022 event is currently scheduled for Saturday, July 9th from 9am-2pm at the Mason County Airport. For more information, call Bob Taylor at (231) 690-0397. To register, vist youngeaglesday.org.

Oceana County Young Eagles

The Oceana County Young Eagles Rally, also hosted by EAA 772, is held each September at the Oceana County Airport- 1805 W. Baseline Road in Shelby. 20 kids received free plane rides at the 2021 event.

Stay tuned for the date of the 2022 event!

For more information on the Mason or Oceana County Young Eagles Rally or EAA 772, contact Bob Taylor at (231) 690-0397.

Grand Traverse County Young Eagles

EAA 234 hosts multiple opportunities throughout North-West Michigan each year. Their 2021 events provided over 100 kids with free flights.

The Young Eagles Program through EAA 234 also has a Young Eagles Club that holds monthly meetings and introduces young people ages 12-16 to aviation and STEM related activities. These activities lead to the ability to understand the principles of flight, navigation, airplane and airport terminology, airspace, and air traffic control.

The EAA group here also offers the Young Eagles Private Pilot Education Mentoring Program, through which kids receive a free coupon to Sporty’s Online Private Pilot Ground School. This course can qualify those interested for the FAA Private Pilot Written Exam.  This program hosts twice monthly mentoring sessions to help with the material that is presented in the online ground school. 

The EAA 234 2022 events include:

  • Saturday, May 7th, 9am-12pm – Young Eagles Flights & Pancake Breakfast at Giving Wings Aviation- 1170 Airport Access Rd., Traverse City
  • Saturday, June 11th, 9am-12pm – Young Eagles Flights & Pancake Breakfast at William B. Bolton Airport, 13264 S. Benzonia Trail, Empire
  • Saturday, July 16th, 9am-12pm – Young Eagles Flights at Giving Wings Aviation- 1170 Airport Access Rd., Traverse City
  • Saturday, August 13th, 9am-12pm – Young Eagles Flights & Pancake Breakfast at Antrim County Airport, 3366 S. Derenzy Rd., Bellaire
  • Saturday, September 17th, 9am-1pm – Young Eagles Flights & Pancake Breakfast at Giving Wings Aviation- 1170 Airport Access Rd., Traverse City
  • Saturday, October 19th, 9am-1pm – Young Eagles Flights & Pancake Breakfast at Giving Wings Aviation- 1170 Airport Access Rd., Traverse City

For more information on the Grand Traverse County Young Eagles Program or EAA 234, visit chapters.eaa.org.

Take Flight in Ludington!

Mason County Aviation offers charter flights as well as airplane rides along the beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline. Call (231) 843-6873 or visit the Mason County Airport in Ludington for more info.

This would be a great way to check out the view from above Big Sable Point, Hamlin Lake, Nordhouse Dunes and many other beautiful areas in West Michigan!

Activities & Attractions in West Michigan

Value of Sports Museum

Visit the new Value of Sports Museum located at Historic White Pine Village just a short drive from Ludington.

Grand Traverse Lighthouse

The Grand Traverse Lighthouse is situated at the end of the Leelanau Peninsula within, about eight miles north of the town of Northport.

Manistee’s Riverwalk

The Manistee Riverwalk follows the Manistee River from Jones Street, under the US-31 bridge, behind downtown, and ends at First Street beach.

West Michigan Camping

No matter how you camp, you’ll find a West Michigan campground nearby that has everything you need to make your vacation stress-free and fun.