Boy Scouts take flight

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A group of 22 Boy Scouts with Charlie Ribardo’s Troop No. 548 earned their aviation badges Saturday as they spent the day at Gloster Airport in the Brazos Country area of Austin County.

Airport owner John Couch and Austin County Sheriff Jack Brandes took the boys up in their private planes and provided tours of the fixed-based operator airport.

Couch used a model airplane to demonstrate for the scouts how science, weather and other factors are evaluated before takeoff.

“We fly off thermal activity,” he explained. “You don’t need power. Air is your office. It’s what you work in. You have to know the principles of meteorology to be a great pilot.”

At Saturday’s event, the boys experienced crosswind takeoffs and landings “because they’re a lot more fun,” Couch said.

“That’s better than a milkshake, isn’t it?” he added.

Airport employee Mike Roten provided tours of the manufacturing plant while merit badge counselor Frank Miner, who is also a pilot, explained the intricacies of aircraft equipment to the scouts.

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