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Sporty's Complete Flight Training Course Fast-Tracking EAA Young Eagles Toward Pilot's Seat

More than 10,000 kids now participating in key component of EAA Flight Plan

EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. — (September 15, 2011) —A unique partnership between EAA and Sporty’s Pilot Shop has now allowed more than 10,000 EAA Young Eagles to pursue aviation interests beyond a first flight through Sporty’s Complete Flight Training Course.

The five-step EAA Flight Plan is creating a clear pathway to participation in aviation for those who have flown through the Young Eagles program, which offers free introductory flights to young people ages 8-17. The cornerstone of the Flight Plan is free access to Sporty’s Complete Flight Training Course online. Since the joint effort began in April 2009, Sporty’s has donated courses that have a retail value of more than $2 million.

“Sporty’s vision and support of the EAA Flight Plan through the Sporty’s Complete Flight Training Course provides a solid foundation for Young Eagles who are pursuing a pilot certificate,” said Brian O’Lena, EAA youth programs manager. “Through the Flight Plan, a young person can take that initial spark of curiosity from the Young Eagles program and pursue a direct path toward aviation participation. We are building the next generation of aviators by eliminating barriers that may stand between a Young Eagle and the cockpit.”

The EAA Flight Plan begins with an introductory Young Eagles airplane ride with a volunteer EAA pilot in a general aviation aircraft. From there, young people have access to a free EAA Student Membership, the Sporty’s online course, a free first flight lesson at a local flight school of their choice, and numerous scholarships available to support continued flight training until a pilot’s certificate is obtained.

“We can’t think of a better investment for Sporty’s to make than in helping to create a future community of pilots,” said Michael Wolf, Sporty’s president/CEO. “We’re proud to be part of the Young Eagles program and pledge our continued support of this unique effort.”

Since 1992, the EAA Young Eagles program has flown more than 1.6 million young people free of charge. Recent research shows that these young people are five times more likely to become pilots than non-Young Eagles. They also already comprise more than seven percent of the nation’s pilot population under age 35, as nearly 20,000 pilots are former Young Eagles participants.

More information on Young Eagles and the EAA Flight Plan is available at www.youngeagles.org/flightplan.

With corporate activities in every segment of general aviation, Sporty’s has evolved from the World's Largest Pilot Shop™ 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®, 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. More information is available at www.sportys.com

EAA embodies the spirit of aviation through the world’s most engaged community of aviation enthusiasts. EAA’s 170,000 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

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