OSHKOSH, WI -- EAA and Sporty's Pilot Shop announce a partnership to enhance the EAA Young Eagles Program, a nationwide initiative that has used general aviation to touch the lives of more than 1.4 million youths since its inception in 1992. Through this partnership, young people who receive an inspirational and educational introduction to personal flight via the EAA Young Eagles Program will also receive from Sporty's the tools they'll need to take the next steps in pursuing their interest in aviation.
Upon completion of a flight with a Young Eagles volunteer pilot - often the youth's first time aboard a general aviation aircraft - the youth will receive a logbook for recording this and subsequent aviation experiences. The youth, dubbed a "Young Eagle," will also receive an access code to the Sporty's Online Complete Pilot Training Course. Both the logbook and the entire flight training course will be free of charge to Young Eagles.
"Our local chapters who fly 80,000 - 100,000 kids every year have been asking for a way to follow up with those kids who are inspired to further explore aviation," says EAA Chairman and President Tom Poberezny. "Sporty's has now opened the door of opportunity to those young people and, in so doing, has demonstrated a commitment to cultivating the next generation of aviation enthusiasts and achievers."
According to Hal Shevers, founder and chairman of Sporty's Pilot Shop, this partnership sprung out of a desire to "move Young Eagles from the right seat to the left seat," and to give the youths and their parents a clear direction for such an achievement.
"How many parents know their child may take flying lessons at any age?" says Shevers. "How many know their child may solo an airplane at just 16 years of age, and a glider at 14? And how many parents understand the lifetime opportunities that open up for their children through a passion for flight?"
The online training is designed to provide more than just a start, and more than just ground school. "Our course guarantees that a motivated student will pass the written, oral, and flight tests," says Shevers.
EAA's Poberezny shares Shevers' enthusiasm about the prospects for inspired Young Eagles to move forward. "This solid instructional program, combined with the encouragement and mentoring that these young people will receive from the EAA community, will give Young Eagles a boost in fulfilling their aviation dreams," he says.
For more information visit www.eaa.org.
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.
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.