After pulling four Gs and clocking 200 miles per hour thousands of feet above Canyon County, Olivia Lynn and Trevor Tweten were borderline speechless, but grinning ear to ear, climbing out of the 1986 Pitts S-2B.
The pair was treated to separate flights by Elevate Your Life in a 300-horsepower, fire-engine red stunt plane owned and piloted by 29-year pilot and Meridianite Scotty Crandlemire. The program is the action arm of the Ryan J. Poe Foundation, whose mission is to inspire youth to realize their dreams.
Tweten had never been on a plane before Wednesday. He rode through a “massive loop,” the pilot said, before taking control of the plane. “Flips are a little bit scary,” the 13-year-old said.
The intensity hit full throttle when 15-year-old Lynn hopped in.
“None of it bothered her,” said Crandlemire, who executed corkscrews, hammerheads, inverted flying and a four-point roll while on the flight.
Lynn said the plane went upside down about 15 times.
“It was really beautiful,” she said of the landscape south of Nampa and Caldwell. “I didn’t even get butterflies.”
Lynn and Tweten submitted essays detailing what their dreams are and just how they would achieve them. The Elevate Your Life campaign chose essay contest winners to take a 20-minute flight in the stunt plane Wednesday from the Nampa Airport.
Lynn, of Eagle, wants to be a professional photographer, and Tweten, of Meridian, wants to be a park ranger. Both said working hard and continuing education will be key to their success of achieving their dreams.
The foundation was created in 2008 by stunt pilot Greg Poe, who started it after his son’s drug-related death in 2002. Poe died suddenly of a heart attack in 2011, but his brother, Russ, and his wife Theresa continue the program.
Theresa Poe said about 25 rides were given last year and at least 18 are scheduled for this season. They work with pilots in different areas to provide the aerobatic flights. Crandlemire said he typically charges $300 per hour for a flight, but does not charge for Elevate Your Life.
The Boise-based group continues its tour in Oregon today and in Seattle by the weekend.