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More Than 170 Local Events Scheduled for International Learn to Fly Day

ILTFD
Attendees inspect the planes and talk to pilots at Oshkosh’s International Learn to Fly Day 2010.

May 2, 2011 — More than 170 individual events are scheduled for EAA’s second annual International Learn to Fly Day (ILTFD), set for Saturday, May 21. Tens of thousands of future aviators will have the opportunity take that first step toward discovering the fun, freedom, and accomplishment of flight at this aviation community-wide effort.

Local EAA chapters are leading the way by offering complementary adult orientation flights on May 21, helping connect aviators with those who have always wanted to discover flight. These introductory flights for adults are similar to EAA’s popular Young Eagles program, which has offered free flights to more than 1.6 million kids age 8-17 since 1992.

“The joy, fulfillment, and sense of accomplishment of flying an aircraft is unlike anything else that one can experience,” said Rod Hightower, EAA president/CEO. “As we grow the next generation of aviators, International Learn to Fly Day is one day where we can make a special effort to invite and welcome those who have always dreamed of flying.”

EAA encourages other aviation organizations and businesses to join in the effort by offering introductory flights, seminars, and open houses at airports and other locations throughout the United States and internationally. To find or submit an event, click here.

Introductory flights spark continued interest in flight, evidenced by recent research of the EAA Young Eagles program. Those receiving flights free of charge through Young Eagles are five times more likely to become pilots than non-Young Eagles. They also already comprise more than 7 percent of the United States’ pilot population under age 35.

The inaugural International Learn to Fly Day in 2010 drew more than 40,000 people to events. Additionally, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution in 2010 declaring the third Saturday in May as International Learn to Fly Day, recognizing the contributions of flight instructors, flight schools, aviation groups, and industry in promoting and teaching the nation’s next generation of pilots.

EAA is the acknowledged leader of this important effort because of its extensive network of nearly 1,000 chapters, which support and promote aviation on the local level. Those grassroots chapters offer resources for those interested in flight, whether it is through the chapter’s members or connections with flight schools and instructors.

“EAA chapters offer a very important link to growing the flight community, as chapters are the neighborly connection that welcomes new aviators and those who want to discover more about flight,” Hightower said.

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