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EAA Young Eagles Taking Advantage of Sporty's Free Flight Training

May 28, 2009 — The partnership between the EAA Young Eagles Program and Sporty’s Pilot Shop announced in late April is already reaping fruit. More than 100 young people participating in the EAA Young Eagles Program, which provides educational and inspirational aircraft rides to roughly 80,000 youths each year, have enrolled in the free Sporty’s Online Complete Pilot Training Course.

This new offering provides next steps to youths whose Young Eagles experience motivates them to further pursue an interest in personal flight. 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 free logbook for recording that and subsequent aviation experiences. Each logbook contains a slip providing a code enabling free access to the entire Sporty’s online flight-instruction program.

“Considering our having launched this offering in partnership with Sporty’s only a matter of weeks ago, we’re pleased to have already inspired more than 100 young people to begin learning how to fly,” said Steve Buss, EAA’s executive director of the Young Eagles Program.

According to Hal Shevers, founder and chairman of Sporty’s Pilot Shop, the free online instruction 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,” Shevers said.

Both organizations have cited the desire to plant seeds for general aviation’s future as a reason for providing this charitable youth program. With the private-pilot population having dwindled by more than 25 percent since the mid 1980s, this partnership provides inspiration, encouragement, mentoring, and flight instruction to help grow the ranks of the next generation of pilots.

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