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For the latest local Young Eagles information please click here to e-mail Tony Yacono

National Young Eagles Web Site: www.youngeagles.org

March 19, 2016 totals:
A GREAT DAY!! Thank you for helping young people imagination take flight.

Pilot # Eagles 1st Flight
Anderson 3 1
Bell 12 7
Blondin 24 13
Brennan 12 9
Fleming 6 5
Katz 12 6
Leiss 24 19
McKenzie 4 3
Martinez 18 11
Pachman 17 7
Yacono 15 11
-------------- ---------------
Totals: 147 92

October 24, 2015 totals:
A VERY SUCCESSFUL DAY!! Thank you for helping young people imagination take flight.

Pilot   # Eagles   1st Flight
Anderson 6 1
Bell 8 4
Blondin 18 11
Brennan 5 3
Fleming 5 5
Leiss 19 6
Newman 15 11
Macintire 3 2
McKenzie 5 2
Martinez 14 11
Rossen 3 3
Strawn 12 8
Voss 7 2
Yacono 13 9
-------------- ---------------
Totals: 133 78

Thank you all for your help on March 28, 2015
The first three pilots are new with us! *
Here are the numbers:
pilot # eagles 1st flight
Brennen 4 2
Voss 4 2
Martinez 8 3
Blondin 25 16
Yacono 12 10
Leiss 26 11
Raglin 29 12
McKenzie 5 0
Strawn 17 10
Anderson 3 1
TOTALS 133 67

Our next Young Eagles day is October 24, 2015.

Thank you all for your help on April 27, 2013.

Everyone was safe and had a good time. Thanks to each of you for a job well done.  
The first three pilots are new with us! *
Here are the numbers:

pilot # eagles 1st flight
Bob Lehton 3 3
Charlie Fleming 14 10
Dick Blondin 22 14
Don Smith 8 7
Don White 8 6
Dwight Bell 42 20
Mike Teders 19 16
Scott DeMasso 26 18
Tom Newman 18 12
Tony Yacono 18 14
Don McLendon 6 5
Al Voss 6 4
190 129
We flew one kid from Sherwood, Arkansas, 4 from Bay City, Michigan, 1 from Springfield, New Hampshire, plus a few from Kissimmee and Orlando.

Thank you all for your help on November 17, 2012 (rescheduled from Oct 27).
A VERY SUCCESSFUL DAY!! Everyone was safe and had a good time. Thanks to each of you for a job well done.  
The first three pilots are new with us! *
Here are the numbers:
pilot # eagles 1st flight
Tom Newman  * 13 7
Chris Nguyen  * 4 2
John Pollard  * 17 14
Dwight Bell 24 10
Tony Yacono 12 8
Dick Blondin 18 10
Mike Teders 12 10
Don Smith 18 8
Don White 7 3
Charlie Fleming 9 6
Mike Katz 12 5
Scott DeMasso 18 16
Josh Waters 9 7
Bob Lehton 6 4
Ric Lasher 3 2
Totals     --------

Thank you all for your help on April 28, 2011.
A VERY SUCCESSFUL DAY!!     Everyone was safe and had a good time. We have one new pilot, Dwight Bell who flew his Robinson R44 helicopter 
Thanks to each of you for a job well done.
Here are the numbers
Pilot                        # eagles  1st flight
Ric Lasher 4 2
Don McLendon 5 5
Josh Waters 6 6
Scott Demasso 21 18
Al Voss 5 4
Mike Katz 21 18
Bob Lehton 4 2
Mike Teders 17 9
Charlie Fleming 11 8
Don Smith 24 13
Tony Yascono 17 15
Don White 9 4
Dick Blondin 25 18
Dwight Bell 31 19
Total  --- 200 141
Thanks again,

Thank you all for your help on November 12, 2011.

Thanks to all of you who participated. Many young people got to experience the thrill of flight because of you.
WELCOME to our new pilot Joshua Waters. We hope that you will fly many more Young Eagles Days with us.
Here are the numbers.
Pilot # Eagles 1st flight
Mike Teders 14 4
Dick Blondin 18 9
Jim Johnson 13 9
Linn Walters 7 2
Don White 6 0
Charlie Fleming 10 6
Scott Demasso 13 11
Mike Katz 12 8
Tony Yacono 12 4
Joshua Waters 9 3
114 56
Thanks again


Thank you all for your help on May 7, 2011. 

Many thanks to all of you. We had another successful, safe Young Eagles Day at Merritt Island Airport.
Thanks especially to Gary Whitmore, who stepped in to match Eagles with pilots, and to his assistants, Gail Ganzer and John Brinkley.
Thanks, too, to Liz and Brynn Michaelman for ensuring that the food was here for all the volunteers to eat.
Ok – here’s what you really want to know – the numbers:
Young Eagles 5/7/2011
PILOT # flown 1st Flight
Ric Lasher 5 2
Dick Blondin 16 5
Jim Johnson 12 3
Mike Teders 11 6
Charlie Fleming 9 6
Don White 6 3
Mike Katz 11 9
Don Smith 14 9
Al Voss 5 2
Tony Yacono 9 5
Ursula Davidson 7 3
Don McLendon 5 2
Scott Demasso 15 7
Linn Walters 1 0

Thank you all for you help on November 20, 2010. 

Look at
Channel 13  for a photo and video that was taken on the Young Eagles Day.

Thanks to those of you who were able to help us today.  These Rallies could not be successful without ALL the volunteers like you.
I counted 28 volunteers on the ground, of which 15 were Civil Air Patrol Cadets and 14 pilots. There also were several adult members of the CAP
who were pressed into service, but I do not have an exact count. A total of 214 Young Eagles flew with us today.  This was a first flight for 144
of them.  This was a GREAT day for all involved, but especially for the Young Eagles.   Thank you for all you do for the Young Eagles Program.
Bobbi & Tony
PILOT              # FLOWN 1ST FLIGHT
Bob Lehton 10 9
Charlie Fleming 15 11
Dick Blondin 18 14
Don Smith 24 14
Don White 10 7
Jim Johnson 24 15
Joy Felton 6 1
Justin Wesley 5 2
Linn Walters 9 1
Mike Katz 24 20
Mike Teders 15 10
Ric Lasher 6 4
Tony Yacono 21 16
Scott Demasso 27 20
   --- Total ---
214 144

Merritt Island banner plane helping out get the word out early in the morning.

Tony conducts the pilot meeting at 8:15am in the morning.

Lot's of activity in the morning.  Larry is matching the pilots to the Young Eagles.

Thank you all for your help on April 24, 2010.  

Totals - 128 Eagles flown - 72 for the first time   These were all local kids except for 2 who came from Orlando.
Thank you all for your help.  This is a team effort.  Look at Channel 13  for the video that was shot of Young Eagles Day.
Pilot Eagles never flown before
Tony Yacono 12 8
Don McLendon 5 1
Al Voss 5 3
Mike Teders 10 4
Don Smith 19 12
Fred Mahan 6 4
Scott Demasso 21 13
Ric Lasher 5 1
Jim Johnson 13 10
Dick Blondin 14 9
Justin Wesley 6 2
Linn Walters 6 1
Bob Lehton 6 4
TOTAL 128 72
Here are a few pictures from Roger Scruggs.....Thank you again Roger for your continued support.

By Steve Pangborn



Young Eagles fly, Saturday,
May 16, 2009 from Merritt Island

New Young Eagle flys with former Young Eagle,
now a
commercial pilot with Baer Air,
Justin Wesley,
October 15th. 2008

Tony Yacono receiving his
EAA Chapter Coordinator Award, August 2008
from Harrison Ford, Chairman of the Young Eagles Program.
Great job Tony!



Young Eagles Pilot Reaches Milestone
Flys 500th Young Eagle


MERRITT ISLAND — Tony Yacono (EAA#406740) was 12 when he first flew in an airplane. The experience was so thrilling, he’s accumulated about 6,000 hours flight time and he’s still flying at age 80.

He’s also spending part of his air time spreading the excitement of flight to local kids. Yacono coordinates the Young Eagles program provided at Merritt Island Airport by the Experimental Aircraft Association chapter 724.

“We’ve got to introduce some of these youngsters to the field of aviation,” Yacono said. “The thrill of flying youngsters is seeing them seeing something they’ve never seen before.”

Thanks to the EAA members, more than 3,500 youths between ages 8 and 17 have seen new sights from the air. And while 82 local EAA pilots have participated in the program, Yacono has logged more flights than any, flying 504 youths.

“He loves doing it. He would not give up being the coordinator,” said Bobbi Lasher, an EAA pilot. “One time we had a Young Eagles Rally and for some reason he couldn’t fly. It drove him nuts to be on the ground.”

Yacono acknowledges he’d rather be in the sky, listening to the excited reactions of first-time fliers, encouraging others who dream about flying themselves.

Hunter Limb, of Merritt Island, is one Young Eagle who has flown with Yacono and gotten the aviation bug. His first flight came three years ago when he was 12, the same age Yacono was when he first flew.

“It is really cool, a lot of fun,” said Hunter, who plans to become a pilot. “Everyone should at least try it.”

The program wasn’t available when Yacono was young, but his boss at a New Jersey concession stand also worked for an airplane manufacturer and arranged a free flight.

Yacono still remembers his elation as he and a pilot took off from a stretch of beach in a red biplane.

“I bet my fingerprints are still on the side of that airplane where I grabbed it,” he said. “As a youngster, somebody got me interested in aviation and that kept me going.”

In 1949, after Army service and years of battling New Jersey winters, Yacono and his wife, Judy, moved to Merritt Island. He worked for a company that owned multiple auto dealerships and worked his way up to service director.

To his delight, the job required him to fly between dealerships as he evaluated operations. Retirement, when it finally came in 2005, didn’t mean more rest or less flying time.

Yacono said he tries to fly his Mooney airplane at least twice a week. He’s a member of the EAA and the Brevard Aviation Association, chairman of the Merritt Island Airport safety committee and a member of the Mooney Aircraft Owners advisory board.

He’s also president of Friends of Scouting, a nonprofit group that provides financial support for local Scouts. And he plans to keep giving free flights to youngsters who might never fly without the Young Eagles program.

“Along the way in all my years, a lot of people have helped me,” Yacono said. “I feel like that I have to give something back. There are a lot of youngsters out there who deserve more than their parents can afford. I just like to help people.” Though he’s a leader in the local Young Eagles effort, he won’t take much credit for the program’s success.

“It takes a lot of people for somebody like me to go up and fly 500 kids,” he said. “A lot of people are involved in this thing, not just one person.”


> To the pilots who make this program (Young Eagles) available:

> Thank you so much for your time and expense to give the young people
> of Brevard such a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the experience of
> flight. Our son took advantage of this opportunity in the 1990's and
> we still have his certificate packed away with other memories of his
> youth.
> I am certain that you did have in some way an impact on his life.
> Today we lovingly refer to our son the "taxi driver, mailman". He is
> a commander of the C-2A greyhound attached to the USS Kitty Hawk in
> Atsugi Japan.
> Again, thank you for this great program.

> Susan D.
> Port St. John, FL

----- Original Message -----

> Dear Mrs. Lasher,

> When I sent the email, I meant it for a note of encouragement. Your
> program is terrific and many times people don't appreciate the time
> and expense involved in providing such a wonderful opportunity.

> I could not believe my fortune in locating the certificate so
> quickly after receiving your email. Attached is a copy, given to
> Charlie, December 12, 1992 (he was 11 years old). He flew in
> a Cessna-152 in Titusville. It appears the pilot was Lawrence V J
> - ? (cannot make out the last name). Also attached is a picture of
> him in front of his "taxi". As a mother, I try not to think about
> him landing that big plane on the aircraft carrier. However, I pray
> every day and know he is in Jesus' hands.

> We are flying to Tokyo next month for his wedding and I will be ever
> grateful for so many wonderful people who have had an influence in
> his life. Many thanks to your exceptional organization.
> Sincerely,
> Susan D., Mother
> LT Charlie D., USN


EAA Chapter 724 flew
109 Young Eagles from Merritt Island Airport
Saturday, November 17th 2007

Great publicity for Young Eagles from Florida Today


Young Eagles flew October 22, 2005
from Merritt Island

Here are the numbers from October 22, 2005
Total of 43 Young Eagles flown by 7 pilots.

Carl May 2
Don Runaas 3 (before being called in to work)
Tom Angell 4
Dick Todd 13
Pete Mackenzie 4
Ric Lasher 4
Tony Yacono 13

Thanks to all and to Mike Tedders who directed traffic all day.



212 Young Eagles flew February 19, 2005 at COI.


Thanks for your help February 21, 2004 with Young Eagles flights.
17 of today's young eagles were from the Florida Volunteer Search & Rescue group from the US Marine Corps Reserve Cadet Corps

I'm sorry that more kids did not take advantage of our offer.
Here's the tally:
Chuck Downing - 2 (without combat boots)
Don Runaas - 2
Greg Smith - 3
Jan Zysko - 5
Holly Halenbeck - 5
Ric Lasher - 2
Rich Steidl - 2
Tony Yacono - 6

for a total of 27 plus 2 each flown by Don and Chuck on 1/25/04

Thanks again. I'll let you know when we start planning our next Young Eagles Rally.


Tony Yacono and Bobbi Lasher with the Florida Volunteer Search & Rescue group from the US Marine Corps Reserve Cadet Corps

From the left Bobbi Lasher, Larry Olson and Greg Smith at the reception table


Young Eagles Flown By Chapter 724 December 13, 2003
at Valiant Air Command, Space Coast Regional

Thanks to all of you for a good day. We gave rides to 65 Young Eagles, plus many of those had more than one ride. I did not see one unhappy Eagle when they got out of the plane. You made their day and gave them something to remember for a lifetime. We also flew one fish. This was a stuffed fish, named Henry. Henry is the
mascot of a local school class. Each student in the class keeps Henry with
him or her for a week and then must write a story about what Henry did
during the week. I think this will be Henry's most exciting week of the
whole year!

I will have more details in the next couple of days. I will also let you
know how much gas was pumped - remember, everybody got some free gas.

Thanks again for you help. We made a lot of kids happy.

Bobbi 12/13/03

Here is the story of Henery's Young Eagle Flight. Logan and Henrys big weekend as told by Logan. Henry came home in my backpack on Friday. When he got there he met my Mom, Dad, Aaron, Sierra, and Alexander. My whole family was happy to meet Henry. That night Mommy took us to look at Christmas lights they were very pretty. When we got home it was time to go to bed. She said if we were good there was a big surprise tomorrow.
Saturday morning we woke up .We ate breakfast and watched cartoons. Mommy told us all to hurry and get dressed she was taking us somewhere fun. We did not know where .We drove to an airport it was cool. A nice lady gave us stickers even Henry. Then we walked through a big garage with all sorts of airplanes. Mom said it was called a hanger. Then we seen some people at a desk they were nice my big brother and sister got signed up for a real airplane ride. I am only 4 so the Pilots told me I needed to grow a little more. My sister told me she would take Henry. Henry was a little nervous but I told him how fun it would be. He decided to go. When he got back he told me that him and Sierra saw the river and it was so long. They also saw the beaches and where the space shuttle goes up. They saw cars and Houses Sierra said they were so small like ants. I was so happy for Henry and My big brother and sister. While I waited for them me and mommy took my little brother Alex and looked around the museum it was great I loved all the planes. Next year I hope Ican go in a plane. When we were done Henry, Sierra, And Aaron got a certificate and their names in the biggest book in the world. They also got a poster and a book about flying. My brother reads it to me we are both going to be pilots now. That night we went to the Titusville Christmas parade and got a lot of candy. We told some people from England about flying they thought that was neat. We found they flew here on a jet. After the Parade we went home and fell asleep
The next day was my little Brothers Birthday we decorated and had cake and Ice cream. That night Mommy told me Henry had to go back to school the next day. I was so excited for my class to read about Henry flying and show them his certificate. Wow, what a weekend.

A Big Thank You, to all of you that helped with this event and all the others.

Promotional Copy for the event:

The Valiant Air Command (VAC) and EAA Chapter 724 will conduct a “Young Eagles” event to be held at the VAC’s museum at the Space Coast Regional airport (Titusville) on the 13th of December 2003. The VAC museum’s address is 6600 Tico Rd, Titusville and is located just south of State route 405 on the northeast side of the airport on the perimeter road (Tico Rd).

Children between the ages of eight to seventeen are eligible for an introductory flight in a general aviation aircraft. The members of the EAA and the VAC will donate their time, aircraft and fuel costs to introduce young people to the world of flight hoping to encourage them to learn more about the fields of aviation and aerospace. They must be accompanied by a parent of guardian to authorize the flight. The young eagles and a parent/guardian will be admitted to the VAC museum free of charge. Other family members or friends may attend for the normal museum fees ($9.00 adults, $8.00 seniors or active military).

Registration will start at 9:00 AM and end at 3:00 PM. The flight will be approximately 15 to 20 minutes. All flying will terminate an hour prior to sunset.

A pancake breakfast will be available for a small charge ($3.00) and consist of orange juice, pancakes, sausage, and coffee .

Carol Ann Garratt, who recently completed a solo flight around the world in her Mooney will fly some of the Young Eagles.

Click here to visit the Valiant Air Command web site


Chapter 1288 Young Eagles Day at Valkaria, October 18, 2003


113 Young Eagles were flown by 13 pilots at Valkaria Airport
on September 20, 2003 by Chapter 1288, assisted by COI Chapter 724
and the
Brevard Aviation Association.

Another success!!!
13 pilots flew 113 Young Eagles on Sept 20 at Valkaria Airport. 80 of these
Eagles had never flown in a small plane before. Thanks to all the pilots,
registration crew, meal providers, ground crew - we couldn't have done it
without you. GREAT JOB!

Here's the final tally
Tom Angello 14
Tom Bauer 1
Dan Beard 4
Joe Blaha 4
Jim Daron 10
Richard Kane 15
Jeff Lammers 1
Bobbi Lasher 4
Russ Minton 20
Greg Popp 3
Rich Steidl 12
Linn Walters 5
Tony Yacono 18

See you on October 18th, same time, same place.


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(Click here to return to the Brevard Aviation Association web site)

217 Young Eagles were flown at Valkaria Airport
on July 19, 2003 by Chapter 1288, assisted by COI Chapter 724
and the
Brevard Aviation Association.

Here are the final numbers:

17 pilots
217 Young Eagles - 178 had never flown before.
Most were from the Melbourne, Palm Bay area - 2 from Liverpool, NY

Here's the breakdown:

Tom Angello 10
Steve Bedwell 9
Sam Collura 9
Jim Daron 7
Rick Dove 19
Chuck Downing 0 6
Don Fritsma 23
Chuck Green 8
Holly Hallenbeck 0 12
Jeff Lammers 6
Rick Lasher 0 5
Russ Minton 15
Vic Poor 30
Greg Popp 0 11
Bob Whalen 9
Don White 0 21
Tony Yacono 0 17
TOTAL 145 72

Each pilot's total gets credited to the chapter that he is a member of.
(same happens at Merritt Island when we fly there.)

Bobbi (07-20-03)


Dear Catherine,

Please extend my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all the Merritt Island (EAA Chapter 724) and BAA people who participated in our YED Rally, July 19. We could not have done it without you!

Dr. Russ Minton
EAA Chapter 1288


345 Young Eagles Flown June 14, 2003
at COI by EAA 724

Here are the final numbers, 345 Young Eagles flown; 82 had flown before which means we introduced 263 youngsters to aviation. JOB WELL DONE!!!!!

Click on photo to enlarge

If you are ready to do it all again, Young Eagles will be flying at Valkaria Airport on July 19th. To volunteer, contact Russ Minton at scalpel876@aol.com.

Again, a great big THANKS to all of you for your help and enthusiasim.

Click on photo to enlarge

# OF Young Eagles flown

Tom Angello 9
John Casey 33
Jim Daron 10
Chuck Downing 11
Wayne Eleazar 3
S.M. Hallenbeck 15
Mike Katz 36
Ric Lasher 10
Oeter MacKenzie 26
Jeff May 16
Russ Minton 20
Johnny Murphy 39
Vic Poor 27
Don Runaas 13
Ron Shanz 4
Linn Walters 9
Don White 31
Tony Yacono 32


Click on photo to enlarge

Click on photo to enlarge


By Steve Pangborn

A young, single mother that works as a server at one of the local restaurants that some of the Arthur Dunn "bunch" frequents had been asking me to take her little boy Buddy up for a Young Eagle Flight for quite some time. Having to work all kinds of different hours {usually late hours}, it was hard for us to coordinate our free time to get Buddy his ride.

Finally, May 5th, a Sunday morning was to be his big day. We were to meet at the airport at 8:00 a.m. I was as excited about the flight as I imagined he would be. 8:00 a.m. came and went. 8:15, ditto. I thought they weren't going to make it, so I wandered over to the local gathering spot {Patti Patch's hangar} to have coffee. Finally, around 8:45 a.m., they pulled up to the hangar. It had been another long night and they had just gotten up.

Off we went to my hanger, to get this little guy his first airplane ride. Excitedly, I opened his door and asked him if he was ready to go…which he promptly told me "NO!" Well, his mother got angry, because he had been asking for this day for at least three months. As she started to really "come down" on him, I asked her to let me try and see if I could change his mind. She said, "have fun".

After questioning him repeatedly as to why he didn't want to go, he finally told me that he wasn't dressed to go flying. I asked him what he meant by that, and he finally admitted to me that he was embarrassed to go because he had his "jammies" on! This from a seven year old! I smiled and told him that no one would know except he and I….and Lily. He asked, "who's Lily?" I told him that's the name of my airplane. His eyes got as big as saucers and said "mommy, his airplane's name is Lily? She agreed that was the name. I told him to put his shoes on, and I took him around to the other side of the airplane, and sure enough there was "Lily" painted on the side. His comment was "cool".

Now that I had him out of the car, I asked if he would at least like to look inside Lily, which he decided wouldn't hurt. As I opened the door, he couldn't get close enough to see everything, so I suggested he get inside for a better look-see.

Well now, the questions started…what's this, what's that for…on and on. For 20 minutes we studied Lily's instrument panel together and answered ALL his questions. By now, he was showing some enthusiasm, so I asked him if he'd like to help me push Lily out of the hangar, to which I received a vigorous nod "Yes!"

Out of the hangar she came, with Buddy pushing for all his worth. I asked, "what do you think? Want to give it a try? He thought for a second and said o.k.

So into the cockpit, I got him strapped securely in, after putting him on a pillow to sit him "up in the world" a little higher. I explained how I was going to hand prop Lily to get her started and that it would get a little noisy until I could get a headset on him.

Thankfully Lily cooperated and started on the first blade. I got in, adjusted his headset, and started to taxi out to the active, which in this case today, was our favorite…the grass runway. All the while we were taxiing out the questions kept coming at a "machine gun" pace, to which I carefully answered so he would feel comfortable with the flight.

After explaining and performing the run up, we were ready to go. I told him it would get noisier, but that the headset would keep it down to a reasonable level. "All set?" to which he nodded yes! So off we go, building speed. I was watching him out of the corner of my eye, and his eyes kept getting bigger and bigger. We broke ground and weren't anymore than ten feet in the air when he exclaimed, "This is the COOLEST thing I've ever done!".

We flew around, showing him his house from the air, where his mom works, and where he had a birthday party the week before at Fox Lake Park. He got to feel the controls by flying Lily for a while. Three times before we got back to Arthur Dunn, he wanted to know when he could do this again? We stayed up for almost an hour….he didn't want to come down{I know the feeling}. Sounds like I "hooked" another one!

Taxiing back to the hangar, he said he was ready to go again, right now! But mom had other plans, so I gave him a rain check. Of course he had to help me push Lily back into the hangar before we filled out his Young Eagle Certificate. He told his mother that they just had to stop and buy a frame for his new certificate!

That "boys and girls" is what it's all about. Relating the story to Neale Cranston one evening, he told me "when that little boy is eighty years old, he will still remember the man that gave him his first airplane ride!" I'd like to think that is true. How great to be remembered in a positive way, don't you think? Psst…give a kid a ride.