Flying Young Eagles

The EAA Young Eagles program introduces youth to aviation by offering free first-flight opportunities. Volunteer pilots at Gnoss Field donate their time and airplanes to provide this experience for youth between the ages of 8 to 17. This is the 30th anniversary of the Young Eagles program that has flown over 2 million young people.

These programs are scheduled on occasional Saturdays between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm at Gnoss Field. Registration is required. And local youth organizations often work with us to ensure we have sufficient pilots to fly the youth interested in signing up.


We’re looking forward to a great day (morning, actually) of flying Young Eagles. We’ll have a short briefing on the ramp on Saturday morning starting at 9:35 and we’ll begin flying right at 10:00, so if you’re a pilot please have your plane pre-flighted, headsets and cushions ready, and parked as per the diagram below by 9:30.

The registered youth are spaced out fairly equally with start times from 10 to 12:15 thanks to EAA’s new online registration system.

We’re fortunate to be joined by several new pilots to our group,, and by several new ground volunteers. Here are just some of the details we’ll review at the briefing so you can get familiar or refresh your memory of how the day will go, starting with a diagram of the setup:

Young Eagles layout for typical operation, with general attendee area with parking and gate access, information/registration table, and airplanes on the ramp along the taxi lane,

Although you can’t really tell from this image, the line on which we park airplanes is just off the actual centerline of that taxi lane (between the rows of hangars, which will allow you easier movement when taxiing in and out of the loading area. Note that we want you to park at an angle to facilitate this even more. We will have marshals to direct you in and out of the area, and let you know when it’s clear for you to start up and taxi. 

NO HOT LOADING-engines must be shut down prior to loading or unloading Young Eagles!

We’ll have a bunch of Young Eagles planes along with the normal traffic going in and out of the airport area, so be vigilant and communicate. Rick Beach has been kind enough to create the guidelines and information below. I’ll just add that we’ll be flying repeated trips over our neighbors in Novato and northern San Rafael, so be as kind as possible with lower RPMs, varying your actual track over the ground somewhat, and observing the suggested altitudes.


Pick up your riders from Administrative Desk and bring them to your aircraft

Provide them with your safety briefing, seat belt, communication with pilots “Sterile Cockpit Rule” approaching airport & downwind to base. I tell passengers stop talking when I raise my right hand. You set your own “Sterile Cockpit Rule”

Take the time to describe what you doing when you do your checklist items especially for the older/interested YE’s

Take a good look around your plane and do not forget to call “CLEAR” before you start your engines.

 Look for an Aircraft Marshal prior to moving, then turn on landing light to signal you are ready to move.

Aircraft Marshal will clear taxi area and signal you to move forward and turn to taxiway

When returning, look for an Aircraft Marshal who will stand where they want you with both hands raised, normally you will position yourself on the marshal. In the event the marshal needs to actually direct you, the marshal will use the standard motions where they point to the landing gear where they want brake applied to turn you in the desired direction. E.g. pointing toward pax/co-pilots landing gear requires brake on the Pax/CP landing gear which would turn the aircraft to the right.

When you return and shut down, marshal’s will escort Parents out to the aircraft for a Photo Op with the Young Eagles and your aircraft.

After you shut down, Photo Op done, take your YE’s to Administrative Desk and sign their furnished Log book

Pick up your next YE’s at the administrative desk

One reminder: you need to leave enough room for an aircraft to pass in front of your airplane to leave.

Second thing: watch the Aircraft Marshal, as we may have to park you differently than you thought you were going to park for ground handling reasons. Manual ground handling might be necessary after you stop your engine, USE CAUTION.



We have experimented and found the following information helpful to coordinate multiple aircraft flying for a Young Eagles event. Due to nearby terrain, overflying neighbors homes, and congestion upon returning to Gnoss Field, these procedures separate traffic by speed and altitude, both resulting in a 20-30 minute flight with your Young Eagles.

You can either review the proposed procedures and make notes for your flight. Or you can import the information into ForeFlight and use an iPad or iPhone to fly the proposed procedures. The waypoints are intended as “fly by” and not “fly over” points. Feel free to use your autopilot HDG and ALT modes to maintain level flight while maneuvering along the flight path.

If you encounter difficulties, contact me and I’ll provide Beach Tech Support! 😉


Two routes for Young Eagles flights, one at 2500’ MSL flown at 90 knots, (magenta), one at 3500’ MSL flown at 100+ knots (cyan). Each route will take about 20-30 minutes at those speeds. Note green pins ar recommended reporting points.

With a large contingent of Young Eagles, please fly these routes depending on your airspeed: slower planes at 2500 feet at 90 knots inside the ridgeline along Ignacio Boulevard, faster planes at 3500 feet at 100 knots over Marinwood and Lucas Valley. These altitudes will reduce the noise impact as we fly over residential areas of Novato and Bel Marin Keys. Both routes are clockwise to favor the view of Young Eagles in the right seats.

We have created User Waypoints for ForeFlight and two flight plan routes: the shorter route at 2500 feet in magenta and a longer route at 3500 feet in cyan:

We assume everyone has ForeFlight, so here are the steps needed to create these Young Eagle flight plans. The KML file contains the YE waypoints and the two links create the flight plans. (Note: these instructions work easiest with iPhones and iPads. For other combinations, please contact Rick Beach.)

  1. Download this file containing the waypoints for Young Eagles flights: KDVO Young Eagles Waypoints.kml
  2. Then drag that KML file from your computer’s Finder into the AirDrop folder, and drop it onto the device that you use for ForeFlight. AirDrop will popup on the receiving device and request a choice of app to open with. Tap ForeFlight, then click on Custom Content, then User Waypoints. ForeFlight will confirm that you imported 13 user waypoints.
  3. To enter the 2500-foot flight plan, click on this link:
  4. To enter the 3500-foot flight plan, click on this link:

FYI, in ForeFlight, if you do some other flight planning, you can get back to these flight plans with the “Routes” icon that lists your recent routes.


All call signs will be “Young Eagles <aircraft-type> <tail-number>” so everyone knows who we are. Also, we suggest the following reporting points (with green markers) to help improve situational awareness:

            YE-IGNACIO (2500 ft route)
            YE-MARINWOOD (3500 ft route)
            YE-BEHINDBURDELL (2500 ft route)
            YE-REDHILLWINDMILL (3500 ft route)
            YE-SANANTONIOCREEK (where the creek crosses under the new highway 101 bridge.

We suggest radio calls at each waypoint like this:

            “Young Eagles <aircraft-type> <tail-number> at Hamilton 2 thousand 5 hundred”

At the waypoint, YE-SANANTONIOCREEK, you will be 3 nm from Gnoss Field. Please enter the 45 for the appropriate runway based on winds and skydiving operations (if any).

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