MATTOON, Ill. (WAND) - This morning hundreds of children had the opportunity to ride on airplanes for free.

Free introductory airplane flights for children ages 8-17 were offered Saturday at the Coles County Memorial Airport. This was all made possible by the volunteer pilots who are members of the Experimental Aircraft Association.

The association has been offering free rides for more than 25 years in efforts to educate the youth about their services.

"You know, as a possible career choice. Whether it's piloting, flight attendant, maintanence, air craft mechanic. There's a lot of career opporunities in Aviation," said Bob Coverdill, President of the EAA Chapter 29.

It is the only program in the world to introduce and inspire kids in the world of aviation.

"We get airplanes and pilots together and they all donate their time. There's no compensation for this at all," saud Coverdill.

They are hoping to have another free ride sometime in October.