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Free online course builds on initial EAA Young Eagles flights

EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wisconsin — (January 28, 2015) — The Experimental Aircraft Association and Sporty’s Pilot Shop are doing their part to build the next generation of aviation, as more than 30,000 young people have enrolled in Sporty’s Online Learn To Fly Course as a follow-up to their EAA Young Eagles flight.

The Sporty’s course, which was first offered to all Young Eagles without charge beginning in 2009, allows young people to take the FAA Sport, Recreational and Private Pilot ground school course at no charge. The course is a next step for the more than 70,000 Young Eagles flown each year by EAA-member volunteer pilots. Since the Young Eagles program launched in July 1992, more than 1.9 million young people have been flown.

“Sporty’s support for the Young Eagles program is truly outstanding,” said Brian O’Lena, EAA Manager of Young Eagles. “Sporty’s understands the Young Eagles mission and stepped forward to provide ways for those young people to further explore aviation through a pathway that is available in the technologies used today. This means that more than 30,000 young people have the opportunity to pursue aviation in a focused and meaningful way.”

The concept was developed with input from EAA pilots who had been flying Young Eagles. Those pilots said many of the young people wanted to discover more about aviation but there were not readily available resources for them. Sporty’s filled that role by offering its online course at no charge for Young Eagles. The goal is to continue to build the next generation of aviation and boost student pilot starts with the group already engaged through the Young Eagles program.

"Just like EAA, Sporty's is dedicated to the Young Eagles program for the long term,” said Michael Wolf, President and CEO of Sporty’s Pilot Shop. “We will continue to invest in these potential young pilots by making Sporty's Online Learn to Fly Course more accessible and more engaging for every Young Eagle."

Young Eagles receive information on how to register and begin the Sporty’s Online Learn To Fly Course immediately after their flights. The instructions and log-in information allow young people to start discovering more right away. Registration No. 30,000 was recorded by Sporty’s on the January 24-25 weekend.

“What’s next? Reaching more young people with this and additional opportunities to be involved,” O’Lena said. “All of us in aviation know the urgency of bringing more people into the world of flight. Thanks to Sporty’s support, EAA Young Eagles is doing that in a way matched nowhere else.”

About EAA Young Eagles

Young Eagles invites young people ages 8-17 to experience aviation through a demonstration flight conducted by EAA-member volunteer pilots. Since 1992, more than 1.9 million young people have been flown by more than 50,000 aviators, becoming the largest youth aviation education program ever created. More information is available at www.eaa.org/youngeagles.
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