TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – 4 States Youth Flyers is giving young people ages 8 through 18 a free opportunity to fly inside of an airplane and learn about potential career opportunities.
The nonprofit organization was founded by Carl A. Bandy, Sr. in August of 2021. Bandy is a Texarkana-based pilot and full-time middle school science teacher. He says the goal of the organization is to expose as many young people as possible to airplanes, whether it be for a career or for fun.
“I looked around for the different opportunities that we have, or do not have, for young people and I just felt inspired that we need to find something for them that is unique and different,” Bandy said.
Before the kids can get inside the plane Bandy goes over the different features of his aircraft, naming each item and its function.
The organization is based out of Texarkana, but the nonprofit flies out of 12 airports within a 70-mile radius.
“We take students off, and pilots off, from one airport and return them back to the same airport. We give them an overview of what it takes to fly and the person who’s in the right seat as my copilot will actually be the person manipulating the controls.”
After the first flight, each student is awarded a certificate, a logbook, and becomes an EAA member. The membership gives them access to pilot and aviation courses, as well as aviation scholarships.
Information about Flights, donating, or sponsoring youths, can be found at 4statesyouthflyers.org.