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Sporty's/EAA Celebrate "Next Step" Success/Announce iPhone App

April 15, 2010 — On Wednesday evening, Sporty’s Founder/CEO Hal Shevers joined EAA Chairman and President Tom Poberezny to celebrate the one-year anniversary of The Next Step program, a follow-on to the Young Eagles introductory flight program. The two spoke to nearly 200 EAA Chapter leaders and members who had gathered in Lakeland for the annual Chapter Ice Cream Social.

Since Next Step was introduced at Sun ’n Fun last year, more than 2,500 Young Eagles have enrolled in Sporty’s online knowledge courses. Dozens of participants have completed parts 1 and 2 of the online course and are eligible for sign-off to take the private pilot written exam. Four participants have already received sign-offs, and of those four, three participants have already passed the FAA written exam. One Michigan youth is scheduled for his practical exam at the end of April.

In recognizing the success of the program, Shevers observed, “I’ve often said, ‘If there are no freshman coming in the door, there will be no seniors coming out four years later.’ That’s true in aviation too; we have to keep new pilots coming into the system.

“When we decided to partner with EAA to help take the Young Eagles program to the next step, we knew we didn’t want to do something just one week a year or in any other limited timeframe,” Shevers continued. “We wanted something that was available all the time; and the development of our online courses exactly fit the bill.” Shevers expressed excitement about the success of this program. “We’re off to a good start.”

Poberezny highlighted the benefit of the Next Step program in allowing Young Eagles to personally invest in furthering their aviation advancement. “The next step is the first step in the journey we’re on to grow the pilot community,” he said.

In other Sporty’s news; on Thursday Sporty’s Vice President John Zimmerman announced the upcoming availability of its online pilot training courses on mobile devices, including the iPhone, and Android phones, as well as Apple’s new iPad. The video training programs cover the coursework for recreational, private, and instrument ratings. The mobile courses are available in 3G/4G or WiFi. Cost is $49.95, with availability expected soon.

Also coming soon is an iPhone app for Sporty’s electronic E6B, including 23 aviation functions, 14 conversions, and a full timer feature. The app is priced at $4.95 and will be available from the Sporty’s website and on the iTunes App Store in a couple of weeks. The E6B app makes quick work of navigational, weight and balance, fuel problems, and numerous other aviation calculations. The E6B app will work on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.

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