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200 International Learn to Fly Day Events Planned

Take someone flying this weekend!

Sporty's Fly-In
Between 300 and 400 aircraft and an estimated 2,000 people attended Sporty’s Fly-In and International Learn to Fly Day last year.

E-mail your photos from International Learn to Fly Day 2011 to chapters@eaa.org!

May 19, 2011 — This Saturday, May 21, 200 events will turn dreams of flight into reality for tens of thousands of people during the second annual International Learn to Fly Day, an aviation community-wide effort helping people of all ages take that first step to discover the fun and freedom of flight. Events are being held throughout the United States, plus scheduled events in Canada, Ireland, Iceland, and Brazil. (Find a local event near you here.)

Local EAA chapters and aviation organizations are leading the way by offering complementary adult orientation flights, 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.

 “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,” said Rod Hightower, EAA president/CEO. “If you’ve always wanted to discover what it is like to sit right seat in an aircraft, seek out an International Learn to Fly Day event in your area. If you are a pilot, share your passion with a friend and take them up for a ride so they can experience the joy, fulfillment, and sense of accomplishment of flying an aircraft.”

Here’s just a sample of events planned for Saturday:

  • Sporty’s 50th anniversary and annual Open House & Fly-In/International Learn to Fly Day at Clermont County Airport (I69), Batavia, Ohio. Jeff Skiles, EAA Young Eagles co-chairman; Mac McClellan, editor-at-large; and Brian O’Lena, youth programs manager, are scheduled to attend.
  • AOPA will hold a “Rally GA” presentation sponsored by Cirrus Aircraft in conjunction with its International Learn to Fly Day event on May 21 at Frederick Municipal Airport, Maryland. The event will also feature a static aircraft display, free familiarization flights, music, and aviation activities for everyone to enjoy. A local radio station will also do a live remote broadcast, and the day runs 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Greenwood, Illinois, Galt Airport, EAA Chapter 932 Young Eagles Rally/International Learn to Fly Day, airport open house, instructors available, food available, R/C displays.
  • Live the Dream - Learn to Fly Day, Bridgeford Flying Services, Napa, California - How to Start Flight Training for Sport/Private presentation at 11 a.m., drawing for free Discovery Flight for presentation attendees.

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.

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