EAA Aviation Experience at Van Nuys Airport Brings Flight's Past, Present and Future Together

EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. — (April 6, 2010) — A new kind of aviation event is coming to Van Nuys, Calif., on April 15-17 – one that connects the past, present, and future together in an exciting, visual showcase of the world of flight.

EAA Aviation Experience, a three-day event open to the public at Van Nuys Airport, is an expanded offering of aviation activities centered on selected national tour stops for EAA’s B-17 Flying Fortress “Aluminum Overcast.” Along with the appearance of “Aluminum Overcast,” EAA Aviation Experience will also feature unique aircraft exhibits and Young Eagles flights, where young people ages 8-17 can receive a free, introductory flight in a general aviation aircraft.

The event will also feature EAA President/CEO Rod Hightower’s Grassroots Pilot Tour presentation and a special appearance by “Miracle on the Hudson” pilot, Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who is co-chairman of the EAA Young Eagles program.

EAA members, non-members, and anyone who in interested in aviation are encouraged to attend. All activities are free, except for B-17 flights and ground tours.

“If you’ve ever shown an interest in the aviation world, this is the place to be,” Hightower said. “EAA Aviation Experience is all about participating, working together and having important conversations about aviation. Aviation enthusiasts are encouraged to bring family and friends as we create our next generation of aviators.”

More information on EAA Aviation Experience activities:

• Experience the B-17: One of about a dozen remaining airworthy B-17s that were pivotal in winning World War II, “Aluminum Overcast” is a living link to aviation’s past that all can enjoy and honor the sacrifices of the veterans who served in them. Flights are available each day from 10:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., followed by ground tours from 2-5 p.m. Visit www.b17.org to pre-book a flight and for pricing.

• Young Eagles fly free: Since 1992, EAA member pilots have introduced more than 1.6 million young people to the world of aviation through introductory flights. Recent statistics show that Young Eagles are five times more likely to become pilots. Young people ages 8-17 are invited to take free, introductory flights from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, and Sunday, April 17. Flights are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

• Unique aircraft exhibits: In addition to “Aluminum Overcast,” other aircraft that may appear on Saturday, April 16, and Sunday, April 17, include P-51 Mustangs, T-6 trainers, DC-2, and F-7-F Tigercat, as well as a Learjet and assorted homebuilt aircraft.

• Meet “Sully”: Meet heroic “Miracle on the Hudson” captain and Young Eagles Co-Chairman Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger on Saturday, April 16. From 6 to 7 p.m., Sully will sign his New York Times bestseller Highest Duty, which will be available for purchase.

• Grassroots Pilot Tour: All are invited to join EAA President/CEO Rod Hightower and local California EAA chapters for a fun, informative evening on Saturday, April 16, beginning with a casual social hour at 6 p.m., followed by the presentation at 7 p.m. Hightower will talk about today’s leading aviation issues and what EAA is doing to grow participation in aviation. Those planning to attend can RSVP at www.eaa.org/grassroots.

Two special drawings are also planned: one for a flight in “Aluminum Overcast” on Sunday, April 17, and the other an EAA AirVenture 2011 “VIP Package” that includes two weekly wristbands and parking, VIP air show seating, one-day golf cart use, behind-the-scenes site tour, and two seats at the First Wing/Lifetime Dinner. Drawings for both prizes will be held Saturday, April 16, at the conclusion of the Grassroots Pilot Tour presentation. Must be present to win.

Parking for EAA Aviation Experience is available at 7701 Gloria Ave. in Van Nuys. Free shuttle service to and from the airport will be available.

For more information on the EAA Aviation Experience, visit www.eaa.org/aviationexperience.

EAA embodies the spirit of aviation through the world’s most engaged community of aviation enthusiasts. EAA’s 169,000 members and 1,000 local chapters enjoy the fun and camaraderie of sharing their passion for flying, building and restoring recreational aircraft. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 800-JOIN-EAA (800-564-6322) or go to www.eaa.org. For continual news updates, connect with www.twitter.com/EAAupdate.