EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. - (June 14, 2010) - Since 1992, EAA members have provided more than 1.5 million Young Eagles with an introductory flight experience in a general aviation aircraft. During the past 18 months, EAA, with generous support from individuals and the aviation industry, has begun building a "Flight Plan" to assist interested Young Eagles in earning a pilot certificate. Today, EAA announced the next element of the Flight Plan, which can provide a Young Eagle with their first flight lesson.
"Last year, we were proud to offer all Young Eagles their own pilot logbook and free access to Sporty's Complete on line Pilot Training Course," said Young Eagles co-chairman Jeff Skiles. "More than 3,000 Young Eagles have already enrolled in the course and several have taken or soon will be ready to take their flight test and earn a pilot certificate. With the addition of the First Flight Lesson, we continue to build on the enthusiasm shown by these Young Eagles and help them continue their journey toward a certificate."
To be eligible for the First Flight Lesson, a Young Eagle must enroll in the Sporty's Complete on line Pilot Training Course, finish Part I of the course and be over the age of 14. Once this goal is met, EAA will notify participants, via email, that they are eligible for a flight lesson. After a parental consent form is returned, EAA will issue a voucher that can be redeemed at a local flight school of the participant's choice.
"This program will be instrumental in helping thousands of young people acquire the skills they need to become pilots. I had the privilege of meeting some Young Eagles this past Saturday on International Young Eagles Day and was inspired by their determination to make their dreams a reality," Said Capt. Sully Sullenberger, Young Eagles co-chairman. "I am proud to be a part of an organization that gives prospective aviators the opportunity to pursue their passion."
"Through the EAA Flight Plan, we are working to eliminate barriers that may stand between a Young Eagle and the cockpit," Skiles added. "The First Flight Lesson provides a Young Eagle with actual flight training experience and makes real the lessons they have been learning through the online training course."
EAA continues to explore other opportunities for additions to the Flight Plan so more Young Eagles can pursue aviation.
Young Eagles and their parents can visit www.youngeagles.org/lesson for more information and answers to frequently asked questions about the program. Flight school operators can visit www.youngeagles.org/school for information on the redemption process.
Sully Sullenberger and Jeff Skiles, the flight crew from US Airways flight 1549 ("The Miracle on the Hudson" flight) serve as co-chairs of the Young Eagles program. The mission of the program is to give young people an opportunity to fly in a general aviation aircraft and to be inspired to consider aviation as a career or recreational pursuit. Flights are provided to interested young people ages 8 - 17 and are made possible through the generosity of EAA members who volunteer their time and aircraft. ConocoPhillips is the presenting sponsor of Young Eagles.
With corporate activities in every segment of general aviation, Sporty's has evolved from the World's Largest Pilot Shop(tm) to More Than A Pilot Shop. Sporty's conducts flight training, performs aircraft maintenance, operates an avionics shop and sells new Cessna aircraft. Sporty's is known as The Home of the Sweepstakes Aircraft(r), having given away at least one new aircraft every year since 1986. Sporty's also has 170 active students, 30 CFIs, 15 rental aircraft and hangar space for more than 100 aircraft.
Young Eagles was founded in 1992 and has provided more than 1.5 million free demonstration flights to young people around the world. To learn more visit Booth 1263 at NBAA.
Sullenberger and Skiles accepted the offer to lead the program in discussions with Poberezny and Ford that took place during this year's EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.
$1.8 million was raised during EAA AirVenture 2009 to support the programs that will provide the next generation of aviation consumers.