Young Eagles pilot reaches 500

Published 8:05 pm Friday, June 4, 2010

A major milestone was reached on May 22 at the Decatur County’s Airport.

Operating from the Decatur County airport’s Fixed Base Operation, pilot Scott Sutor flew his 486th through 500th Young Eagles students, thus reaching a major aviation achievement.

Sutor is vice president of Chapter 445 of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) in Tallahassee, Fla.

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Chapter 445 pilots, working with Col. Gary Breedlove’s Air Force JROTC cadets, have conducted six other large-scale Young Eagles projects in Bainbridge, and collectively have flown more than 500 cadets and other Decatur County students since September 2005.

That accomplishment is certainly significant, but to have one pilot, Scott Sutor, to fly 500 by himself is very significant.

Sutor has flown most of the Young Eagles project at Bainbridge, and has flown students at six other locations in South Georgia and Northwest Florida.

“Scott Sutor is very enthusiastic about introducing young people to the experience of flying,” said Col. Breedlove. “I refer to him as an ‘aviation evangelist’. He is always ready to go anywhere in the region and offer Young Eagles flights. The Young Eagles program is a major effort of the Experimental Aircraft Association where member pilots give free orientation flights to students age 8-17. We hope to conduct another large-scale Young Eagles project this fall.”

Sutor and Breedlove coordinated to gather 15 flyers because of the close association between EAA 445 and the Bainbridge High School JROTC Program.

On May 22, 10 cadets and five other students got their flights and certificates with Sutor flying them over the Flint River, the new high school and back over the city.

On the milestone flight, Cadet Commander Stephen Dunn became the 500th Young Eagle flown by Sutor. Dunn was joined by fellow cadets Tyler Pollock and Avery Chestnut.

Of added significance is the fact that Dunn is a 2009 graduate of the Advanced Aviation Camp in Oshkosh, Wis., and Chestnut and Pollock will be attending the camp this July. All three were sponsored by Chapter 445 pilots.

Chestnut and Pollock will make the 10th and 11th Bainbridge AFJROTC cadets sponsored by EAA Chapter 445 over the past five years, an accomplishment Col. Breedlove describes as “unequalled by any other high school in the United States.”

“We are very, very appreciative of the relationship we have developed with Chapter 445, and the great opportunities it has afforded the students in Decatur County,” Breedlove said. “Scott Sutor has been a huge part of that productive teamwork. It seems very appropriate that he achieved this 500th Young Eagles milestone in support of our cadets. We are proud of our association with Scott and all the pilots of Chapter 445. They are great role models.”