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EAA Launches 'Reach For The Sky' E-Newsletter

September 19, 2007 — Millions of people have dreamed of learning to fly but have never taken that next step. The U.S. pilot population has fallen by 25 percent over the past 30 years. EAA is addressing both situations this week, as it launches "Reach For The Sky," an e-newsletter that will help people start making those dreams of flight a reality. The free monthly newsletter will use the full resources of EAA, the worldwide organization devoted to recreational flight. EAA's affiliate, the National Association of Flight Instructors, which includes 5,000 of the nation's top flight instructors, will also contribute.

"This online newsletter focuses on the basics for those who want to get started: What do I need to know? How much time does it take? How much will it cost? Where do I find a good instructor?" said EAA president Tom Poberezny. "The newsletter focuses on giving those interested in learning to fly the confidence to take that first step, which can lead them to an achievement and fulfillment that are matched by few other pursuits."

The "Reach For The Sky" newsletter evolved from EAA's successful Learn-to-Fly pavilion at the 2007 EAA AirVenture fly-in at Oshkosh, Wis. Thousands of potential pilots streamed through the pavilion this year, getting the answers to their questions and receiving the "Reach For The Sky" introduction to flight training. The event also gave EAA and NAFI a unique understanding of the questions and doubts those people have about aviation.

The newsletter also fits well into EAA's mission of aviation participation on all levels. The organization already provides in-depth knowledge and information for those involved in specific areas of recreational flight, including aircraft building and restoration, aerobatics, history and more. In addition, EAA's Young Eagles program has introduced more than 1.3 million young people to aviation since 1992 with a free demonstration flight, and the new sport pilot/light-sport aircraft community - an initiative led by EAA for more than a decade - has cut the cost and time involved in pilot training and aircraft ownership.

"There is so much momentum and excitement building toward what's ahead in recreational aviation, but that momentum will be lost if we cannot build the pilot population," Poberezny said. "This is an issue that every pilot, regardless of their experience, should be concerned about. A continued net-loss of pilots affects today's aviators in availability of services, cost and public influence. And a sharply lower number of pilots in the future would have far-reaching consequences for those who use commercial air travel for business or pleasure.

"Each pilot should make it a personal responsibility to encourage those with an interest in flight, whether it's through the Young Eagles program, the nearly 1,000 EAA Chapters in local communities, or by simply guiding them to this newsletter as a resource. No pilot can afford to sit on the sidelines and say, 'It's not my problem.'"

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