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More Than 130 Local Events Now Part of EAA's International Learn to Fly Day

Find your local event to be held Saturday, May 21 at www.learntofly.org

EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. — (May 2, 2011) — More than 130 events will help dreams of flight become a reality for tens of thousands of future aviators during the second annual International Learn to Fly Day on Saturday, May 21.

International Learn to Fly Day is an aviation community-wide effort helping people of all ages take that first step to discover the fun, freedom and accomplishment of flight. 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 young people since 1992. EAA also 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.

"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.”

Organizations and EAA chapters that are hosting events are encouraged to post their events on International Learn to Fly Day’s website, www.learntofly.org. The website features the ability to find a local event that encourages a person to discover more about flying, and allows a group or company to post an event that welcomes those interested in flying.

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 seven 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 supports and promotes 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.

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

EDITOR’S NOTE: Images from International Learn to Fly Day in 2010 are available at EAA’s FTP website:

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