Published: Jul 03, 2011 5:27 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 03, 2011 4:29 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Pint sized pilot Doug Short has been in the air more times than he can count. Short is part of the Young Eagles, a program sponsored by the local chapter of the Experimental Aircraft association, which takes kids as young as eight airborne.

"They're actually sitting in there and they feel the vibration (of the plane) they hear the wind, they feel the wind and it is really flying," said Bob Haas of the EAA chapter 66.

The program runs the first Sunday of every month and kids get a free trip to the skies. Sometimes the pilots will let the children man the controls.

"A lot of these young people have gone on to become pilots in the military and private pilots. The Experience stayed with them," Haas said.

Short's parents say he was scared to death the first time a pilot took him up. Now he's explaining planes to other kids his age.

"The hardest part is getting the pilot to let you land," said Short, who as of yet hasn't had any luck in that respect. "I'm working on it though."

If you're interested in getting your kid involved you can visit the EAA chapter at Page Field Airport in Fort Myers. Or go online at