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On Monday, March 21, my brother Isaac and his friend Ben Richards of Montville flew at the Belfast airport in a Cessna Cardinal as part of the Young Eagles Program, which is locally administered by Belfast Airport manager Kenn Ortmann.

Founded in 1992, the Young Eagles Program gives youth ages 8 to 17 the opportunity to take a free ride in an airplane. All told, over two million people have taken advantage of this opportunity so far.

Ben and Issac participated in the two-visit program. For the first visit, they arrived at the Belfast Airport to take a tour of the premises and learn about airplane maintenance and safety checks. The following week, the two of them each got a chance to ride in a plane piloted by Kenn Ortmann, with each of them getting to sit in the plane’s passenger seat as they flew over Belfast, Camden Snowbowl and toward Montville.

Isaac even accepted the opportunity to pilot the plane for a while. Isaac and Ben both enjoyed this experience and I would recommend it to any children or adolescents interested in flying.