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You won't need a ticket to ride

On Saturday, if you're 8 to 17 years old, you can get a free ride at Albert Whitted Airport in downtown St. Petersburg. The free flights are being offered by the local chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association of America. The flights start at 9 a.m. You need to have your parents sign a permission form, and you should call ahead, (813) 343-5494, to tell the group you want to fly.

Why are they doing this? It's part of the group's young Eagles program, which gives kids an introduction to planes. They hope you'll get interested in flying.

What kind of plane will I fly in? Mostly smaller planes that seat two to four people, like a Cessna 172.

Is it safe? You bet. Millions of people fly safely each year. But you've got to be careful around the plane, especially when you're around the propeller. Follow the instructions of the pilot. And don't ask the pilot if his radio gets the Power Pig.

What's it like to fly in a small plane? It's more fun than in a big jet. You get more of a feeling that you're flying. And you don't need an airline ticket.

Will I get airsick? Probably not. Most people don't have any trouble flying in these planes. Just in case, there will be a supply of airsick bags.

-Bill Adair

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