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Free EAA Student Membership Answers 'What's Next?' for Young Eagles

Free program also includes Academy of Model Aeronautics membership

Rod Hightower and Jim Campbell
EAA president/CEO Rod Hightower (left) talks with Jim Campbell of Aero-News Network, one of several interviews following EAA’s announcement of its free Student Membership. Photo by Heidi Hamm

October 19, 2010 — Since the Young Eagles program began in 1992, more than 40,000 EAA-member pilots have volunteered their time to bring the joy and inspiration of flight to nearly 1.6 million young people.

We know thousands of today’s young pilots got their aviation start through a Young Eagles flight. However, a regular question from the participating volunteer pilots has been, “What’s next for Young Eagles after their first flight?”

The EAA Student Membership program, which is supported by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, is helping answer that question. It is available free of charge to any young person aged 8 to 19 who has completed a Young Eagles flight, and includes:

  • An electronic copy of EAA Sport Aviation magazine delivered via email each month and viewable on the web, or a wide range of mobile devices and e-readers.
  • Free student membership in the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), which provides information on how to start building and flying models, plus access to thousands of AMA Flying Clubs.
  • Free admission to over 300 science and technology museums in the ASTC network
  • Free access to Sporty’s online Complete Flight Training Course designed to take an aviation “newbie” all the way through the process of passing their FAA written exam.
  • Other EAA member benefits including an attractive membership card; member discounts on merchandise, flight experiences, the EAA Air Academy and EAA AirVenture Oshkosh; plus access to the EAA Members’ Only websites and other information resources.

Access to the Student Membership is easy. All EAA Young Eagles will also receive an activation code that can be used to register for their free EAA Student Membership at www.youngeagles.org/join.

Young Eagles from past years are also eligible for the membership provided they are still between ages 8 and 19, and a list of Frequently Asked Questions can be found here.

“The EAA Student Membership gives young people the tools and information they need to continue an interest in aviation,” said Brian O’Lena, EAA’s youth programs manager. “We also hope Young Eagles pilots will find it a helpful resource to encourage young people immediately after their exciting first flight experience.”
Jeff Nance, AMA director of marketing and programs, added, “The AMA is pleased to be an integral partner of the EAA Student Membership. Model flying can help keep young people engaged in aviation whether they want to pursue a pilot certificate, choose an aviation career or just want to fly a model for fun.”

The EAA Student Membership is the latest addition to an overall a “Flight Plan” developed by EAA over the past 18 months to assist Young Eagles in discovering more about aviation and possibly earning a pilot certificate. In 2009, EAA and Sporty’s Pilot Shop began a partnership that gives Young Eagles free access to Sporty’s Online Pilot Training Course upon completion of their first Young Eagles flight. More than 5,000 young people have already enrolled in that course. In June 2010, the First Flight Lesson program was added to introduce young people to actual flight training to explore aviation further.

These programs are part of EAA’s mission to grow aviation through active participation, and they are made possible thanks to generous help from individuals and across the aviation industry, scuh as Embry-Riddle’s support of the EAA Student Membership.
“Embry-Riddle is gladly lending its support to the EAA Student Membership for Young Eagles,” said Dan Montplaisir, Embry-Riddle vice president of institutional advancement. “EAA has assembled an impressive package of benefits for the Young Eagles that will speed them along in acquiring aviation skills and earning a pilot certificate. Over the years Embry-Riddle has proudly partnered with EAA on various programs that make it easier for young people to explore the world of aviation, whether they’re interested in flying as a pastime or want to go even further, to pursue higher education in aviation, such as Embry-Riddle offers, and become a professional pilot.”

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