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EAA and Sporty’s announce "Next Step" Partnership to Further EAA Young Eagles’ Introduction to Flight

EAA Young Eagles will receive logbook and free access to Sporty’s online pilot training course

EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. - (April 23, 2009) — EAA and Sporty’s Pilot Shop today announced 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,” said 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? 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?” Shevers said.

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,” Shevers said.

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,” Poberezny said.

EAA embodies The Spirit of Aviation, bringing together the world’s most engaged and devoted community of aviation enthusiasts. EAA’s 160,000 members and 1,000 local chapters enjoy the fun and camaraderie of sharing their passion for flying, building, and restoring recreational aircraft. To join EAA or for more information on EAA and its programs, call 1-800-JOIN-EAA (1-800-564-6322) or go to www.eaa.org.

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