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EAA's Annual International Young Eagles Day, June 13

EAA  Young EaglesJune 4, 2009 — EAA volunteers and chapters around the world will continue an aviation tradition a week from Saturday (June 13), as they give flights to young aviation enthusiasts on the 16th annual International Young Eagles Day (IYED). The annual event brings together kids and pilots as part of the EAA Young Eagles program, which with nearly 1.5 million kids flown since 1992, is the largest youth aviation education program ever created.

Since 1994, thousands of young people have been flown annually on International Young Eagles Days, making it the most active flying day for the year-round program. There are more than 125 IYED events planned around the world, according to Steve Buss, Young Eagles executive director.

"We're very pleased with the continuing support EAA members provide for International Young Eagles Day," Buss said. "While Young Eagle flights take place nearly everyday of the year, IYED is a chance to focus on the program and enjoy the freedom to fly and share that freedom with a new generation."

More than 42,000 volunteer EAA-member pilots and 50,000 ground volunteers make the program possible, providing flights in aircraft ranging from the newest airplanes to vintage biplanes.

New this year is the addition of Sporty’s “Next Step.” New Young Eagles will receive a custom Young Eagles logbook and free access to Sporty’s Complete Pilot Training Course. Both items are made possible through the generosity of Sporty’s Pilot Shop. In addition, the names of Young Eagles and their flight information are entered in to the "World's Largest Logbook" on permanent display at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and on the web at www.youngeagles.org/logbook

Program Chairman, actor Harrison Ford, has personally flown nearly 300 Young Eagles and encourages fellow EAA members to give the gift of flight. "I'm an active Young Eagles pilot because I know it makes a tremendous difference to these youngsters, not only because of what they learn during the flight, but the possibilities that are opened to them through our volunteers' efforts," he said.

During International Young Eagles Day, pilots take young people between the ages of 8 and 17-years-old on individual flights or as part of Young Eagles flight rallies. The pilot does a preflight "walk-around" of the aircraft with the child, explaining the parts of the airplane and how they work. After reviewing the preflight safety checklists, the pair takes off for a brief flight to experience the true sensation of flying an airplane.

Chapters are encouraged to share their event story and photos for inclusion on the YE website. Send submissions to sbuss@eaa.org.

For more information on the Young Eagles program, or to learn about International Young Eagles Day events near you, visit www.youngeagles.org, contact your local EAA chapter, or call 877-806-8902.  For additional information on “The Next Step,” visit http://www.youngeagles.org/sportys_faq.pdf

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