Career Eagles Aviation Initiative Takes Off

COLUMBUS, OH--(Marketwired - Jun 23, 2014) - Today, The Ohio State University Center for Aviation Studies, the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and The Austin E. Knowlton Foundation launched the Career Eagles Aviation Initiative. Career Eagles engages and encourages today's youth to pursue careers in aviation through academic and extracurricular programsscholarships and hands-on experiences.

Career Eagles' launch comes at a crucial time in the aviation industry, as a global shortage in trained pilots threatens the booming global airline carrier industry. Over the next 20 years, nearly 500,000 new professional pilots will be needed to fulfill the global forecasted demand. The lack of available trained pilots is affecting the industry now. Small regional airlines have already reduced service due to the lack of pilots.

"Career Eagles addresses the pilot shortage with a unified, national effort to meet the demand for future professional pilots," said Seth Young, director of The Ohio State University Center for Aviation Studies. "By investing in education and research, the Center for Aviation Studies supports this initiative so that the United States can get on track intraining enough professional pilots to sustain the growth in the aviation industry."

According to Jack Pelton, EAA board chairman, engaging youth and providing them a pathway to a career in aviation is critical. "Career Eagles is the stepping stone for youth from their first flight to a career in aviation," Pelton said. "By inspiring children to pursue aviation education, we can make an impact on the shortage that faces the nation today and in the future."

Aviation industry experts all agree that an initiative like this one helps to better position the nation with future leaders in education and aviation.

"We are delighted to partner with the EAA and Ohio State in supporting this important initiative. Inspiring youth participation in aviation careers through Career Eagles will not only grow the pool of professional pilots to meet that critical national need, but also provide great exposure to advanced science, technology, engineering and math topics for middle and high school students," said Eric Lindberg, trustee of The Knowlton Foundation.

Today's launch also marked the kickoff to Aviation Week Activities at COSI where visitors can participate in hands-on aviation themed experiences, including learning how to fly in a flight simulator, constructing and launching paper airplanes from a mock runway and discovering what a career in aviation has to offer. For more information, visit www.cosi.org.

For more information, follow the Career Eagles Aviation Initiative on Facebookwww.facebook.com/CareerEagles.

About the partners

The Ohio State University College of Engineering's Center for Aviation Studies (CAS) is a leading center for aviation related research and education. The mission of the CAS is to incorporate engineering, business, and behavioral philosophies into a multidisciplinary approach to the many components of the aviation industry, supporting world-class flight education programs, academic degree programs, research initiatives and outreach activities on local, regional, national and international levels.

Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is a community of engaged, passionate and diverse pilots and aviation enthusiasts who honor the nation's aviation veterans and strives to inspire and grow the next generation. EAA is among the most vibrant aviation organizations around the world.

The Austin E. Knowlton Foundation was established in 1981 by Austin E. "Dutch" Knowlton to support higher education in the United States, and the Foundation today provides direct grants and contributions to qualified colleges and universities. Through his Knowlton Construction Company, Mr. Knowlton was responsible for more than 600 major building projects throughout Ohio and the Midwest, including college and universitybuildings, hospitals and libraries. He was also an early business aviation pioneer, operating among the first Learjets in support of his business enterprises that also included a Beechcraft dealership and jet charter operation.

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