After two years of decreased participation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2022 has seen EAA’s Young Eagles program rebound and reach tens of thousands of young people through participation in aviation.
More than 49,000 youths ages 8 to 17 experienced The Spirit of Aviation this year through a free introductory flight in an aircraft. These flights were all made possible by 4,078 pilots who volunteered their time to help, with 1,159 of those pilots new to the Young Eagles program in 2022.
“We are thrilled to see an increase in the number of pilots looking to help inspire the next generation of aviators,” said David Leiting, EAA Eagles Program Manager. “For pilots, the rewards of flying Young Eagles are immeasurable. The only way we get more young people involved in aviation is to have more pilots participate, so the open invitation is always there.”
Since Aug. 1, 2022, 93 pilots completed the 30 for 30 challenge to fly 30 youths to celebrate the program’s 30th anniversary. Pilots who reach this milestone will be awarded a commemorative polo shirt. The challenge runs through July 31, 2023. Pilots interested in flying Young Eagles can learn more about the program at EAA.org/YoungEagles.
The Young Eagles program is quickly approaching a total of 2.3 million free introductory flights since its launch in 1992, and continues to be the largest aviation education program ever created.
The Young Eagles program is presented by Phillips 66 with additional support from Sporty’s, United Airlines, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Garmin, Lightspeed, Academy of Model Aeronautics, and Global Aerospace.