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We had another fantastic event, on this the warmest day in 2023.

We also had another 1,000th, when Keira from 1st Thaxted Carver Air Scouts, became our 1,000th Scout to fly at a Young Aviators event.

We also had many other high-lights some of which were;

Hottest Day of the Year – 100+ Young Aviators wanting to fly

For the 17th year, Andre Faehndrich, AOPA STEM Ambassador, organised the Young Aviators Day at Deenethorpe Aerodrome on Saturday 9th September. For the third year AOPA has fully sponsored the event which, as always, was fully subscribed to Scout and Air Scout Groups and also non-Scouts, with over 100 Young Aviators in attendance and raring to fly.

The event wouldn’t be possible without an Airfield willing to host the event, the volunteer Marshallers to keep things safe on the ground and Pilots, from far and wide, who volunteer their time, and aircraft, to support the event and take the youngsters aloft for the highlight of their day in all types of flying machines.


Selection of aircraft at Deenethorpe for Young Aviators

For many Young Aviators this is the very first flight they have ever made, and few if any had ever had a flight in a light aircraft, microlight or gyrocopter:



Pre-flight – ready to go

First time flyer – enjoyed every second


While the flight was the highlight of the day, there were plenty of other activities to keep the Young Aviators engaged and learning during the day. Activities included an introduction to aviation charts, map reading and basic navigation techniques, drawing static aircraft, quiz, and cockpit “tours”:



       Drawing & sketching aircraft

Cockpit visits


It was also a delight to fly some Jermiah Giraffees, as part of the superb “Giraffees on Tour” initiative (see where over £43,600 has now been raised to date.


                 Navigation exercises for all                                                  Even a few Jermiah’s flew



                            Cockpit experiences                                     Freedom to fly – in a glider

One young enthusiast proudly showed me his aviation related Instagram Account which has 146,000 followers.

Further highlights of the day included the Ice Cream van arriving and when Mick, Airfield Manager, brought out his military vehicles, another first for a Young Aviators event.

              All aboard for a different type of Young Aviator experience – another first!!!.


The smiles on the adults and youngster faces                                   and away they go!!!

The armoured convoy was last seen heading East loaded with Young Aviators, who perhaps have a different career path in mind!.

Amongst all the gloom often surrounding the future of General Aviation, seeing the enthusiasm for aviation in the faces of the Young Aviators gives us hope that General Aviation will be taken on by younger generations. But the seed of aviation as a career has to be planted and nurtured and no-one other than those engaged with GA already is better placed to do this.

AOPA, by sponsoring events such as this one, hope that this is a catalyst to a secure future for GA – an investment in the future with a long-term return on the investment of income from our members.

GA is desperately short of Airfields and businesses who are willing to step-up and host events that can bring the excitement of GA, whatever the role, to the next generations. AOPA would be interested to hear from any Corporate or Individual member who are considering hosting STEM events, with a view to giving advice and potentially sponsorship. Email us: and tell us your plans.

Mick Elborn AOPA UK - 10 September 2023

A quick summary to date -

To date we have flown 1,421x youngsters (393x non-Scouts, 1,016x Scouts and 12x ATC and 221x Adults, on a total of 1,243x flights with 208x aircraft flown by 223x pilots.




The next event (the 18th Annual Young Aviators) is booked for 7th September 2023, at Deenethorpe Aerodrome, near Corby, and as always we are actively looking for sponsors and participants.

If you are interested in, or want to display at, or participate (as a Scouts or a non-Scout) or fly some youngsters, please contact Andre Faehndrich directly on e-mail with your contact details, and the names of the youngsters that you would like to participate.

Invites for the 18th Annual Young Aviators event will be sent out to all participants at the beginning of July 2024.

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