Phillips 66 Aviation
July 28, 2023
OSHKOSH, Wis., July 26, 2023—Phillips 66® Aviation is excited to announce the 2023 Phillips 66 Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Young Eagles Leadership Award winner is Tom Meadows, EAA member of Chapter 1073 in Truckee, CA. This award—given every year during EAA’s annual fly-in convention, AirVenture — recognizes exceptional Young Eagles volunteers that have continually supported the future of aviation by exceeding expectations.
“I have so many stories of flying youngsters through the skies and seeing their faces light up with excitement and joy,” Meadows said. “From allowing youth to sit in the pilot’s seat to helping them taxi to the runway, flying with these kids is always an adventure.”
A retired Naval Air Crewman, Tom was the Young Eagles Coordinator for EAA Chapter 1073 for nearly five years. During those years, his EAA chapter held rallies in the Truckee region at different airports in smaller communities without chapters, to introduce their youth to aviation by giving them free airplane rides.
Meadows has flown to more distant cities to help their chapters hold rallies. His wife, Lynn, a private pilot, gets to fly to and from the rallies, and serves as a ground volunteer while he flies kids. “It is important to us that we make aviation instruction as accessible to young people as possible, so flying from airport to airport is exciting for us.”
Tom and Lynn both received their pilot licenses in 1978, however Tom’s passion was ignited at a young age, as he would sometimes accompany his father to work at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.
“My dad would drop me off at the Air Force Museum on the base, and no matter how many times I walked through that museum I never grew tired of it,” Tom said. “Later in life, my dad told me that when I was two years old, he had put me on his lap and gave me my first airplane ride.”
Tom holds several other licenses including his Instrument, Commercial, CFI and MEL certificates. While he stepped down as a Young Eagle coordinator in 2020, Tom and Lynn still serve as ground and flight volunteers at rallies near and far.”
“We have flown our Cessna 172 Sky Hawk to Ohio five times to attend my high school reunions, and we stop to visit friends and family members. If any of our hosts have age-eligible kids, I take them flying as Young Eagles,” Tom said. “We are always looking for new families to share our spirit of aviation.”
In the fall, Tom plans to fly his 2,000th Young Eagle mission. By then he will have donated 1,500 flight hours of their Cessna 172, along with countless hours of volunteering on the ground.
“I am always mining for more Young Eagles. You never know when you are going to find a gem,” Tom said. “The future of aviation is in the hands of these kids, and I am proud to be a part of their journey.”
To learn more about the EAA Young Eagles program, visit eaa.org.
To learn more about how Phillips 66 supports the Young Eagles program, visit Phillips66Aviation.com.