The Gateway Youth Aeronautical Foundation (GYAF) was incorporated as a Missouri Nonprofit Corporation officially on December 3, 2019, and has received IRS tax-exempt status. The Gateway Youth Aeronautical Foundation's mission is to inspire youth interest in aviation. The goal is to be that “one event experience” that proves to be pivotal in changing a youth’s life forever. This mission will be achieved through the financial generosity of sponsors and donors so that individual cost is never a prerequisite for youth to participate in activities provided by GYAF.
The first program offered by the GYAF is the mobile F-4 Phantom II exhibit that puts you in a fully-restored jet fighter cockpit. This aircraft is painted to represent a similar aircraft that served in the 131st TFW of the Missouri Air National Guard based in St. Louis. This exhibit is available to appear at STEM programs and community events.
A future program will include a Bell Helicopter OH-58C Kiowa that will fly to your STEM program and other event sites. Learn about helicopter flight from the inside out by sitting in the aircraft and visiting with the crew.
New fun and educational exhibits and training equipment are being added regularly, including this three-axis simulator and P-51 mustang pedal car. Flight simulators for airplanes and helicopters are being installed.
As a foundation, GYAF raises scholarship funds to be used for discovery flights as well as pilot and technical training. Aviation-related education materials and hands-on projects will be offered. The GYAF will also provide referrals to other aviation education programs appropriate for different age groups and skill levels. Announcements of event dates and new programs will be made regularly on the GYAF Facebook page.