Oregon Pilot Has Flown 5,300 Young Eagles

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Larry Durst has probably flown more passengers than some charter services but he and his wife Maxine donate their time, energy and airplane to help encourage youth who are interested in flying. The Roseburg, Ore., pilot has flown more than 5,300 Young Eagles in his Cessna 182 since he became involved in the program in 1994. For that, he's the recipient of the Phillips 66 Aviation Leadership Award. "It's very humbling to me," said Durst, who, along with Maxine, was the 2007 recipient of EAA's Young Eagles Horizon award. Phillips 66 accepted that award at Wednesday night's Young Eagles Banquet. Durst said it has been a distinct privilege to give young people their first exposure to aviation and although they haven't kept count, they know that some of their young passengers have gone on to learn how to fly.

Larry Durst said he never would have been able to fly as many kids as he has without Maxine. "She's my recruiter," he said. Maxine said she has great contacts in the area school system and makes sure kids are aware of the opportunity to fly. Many return year after year for the experience. Durst said there have been many wide-eyed kids with funny reactions to their first flights and he's enjoyed every one of them. Meanwhile, Phillips 66, which earned its award in part because of its fuel rebate program for Young Eagles volunteers, announced expanded benefits and rewards for Young Eagles through a new credit card product, including double Young Eagles rebates through the end of the year.