Man flies number 5,000 in Young Eagles Program

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- A Roseburg local has been sharing his love of flying with children since the mid-90s, but Friday morning's flight marked a special milestone for the aviator.

At the Roseburg Airport, a seasoned pilot has helped his 5,000th young eagle take flight.

Larry Durst has been giving children in Douglas County the chance to fly since 1994. "Most people don't get a chance to go flying, particularly young people," Durst said.

With over 600 hours of flight experience with kids, he's been taking them on 20 minute tours of Roseburg through the Young Eagles Program. "Well, one thing a lot of kids say is, 'gee, I'm scared,' and I tell them this is a normal response," Durst said.

When you're the 5,000th child being flown, the feeling of fear takes a backseat. "It's really great to fly, you get to see everything down there," said Cole Brecht.

For Durst, the thrill isn't the takeoff or landing, it's seeing the kids. "This is the thrill I get," he said. "I don't care what the number is, it's the experience the kids get."

And after having number 5,000 up in the air, he plans to help many more young eagles spread their wings.