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Oshkosh resident Fred Stadler becomes first to fly 10,000 kids in EAA Young Eagles program
EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wisconsin — (September 6, 2023) — Fred Stadler, a longtime EAA volunteer both year-round and at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, has become the first individual to fly 10,000 kids free of charge as part of the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Young Eagles program. Stadler, who began flying young people as part of the program in 2000, reached the milestone on August 26 with a flight at the EAA Aviation Museum’s Pioneer Airport.
The EAA Young Eagles program began in 1992 with EAA-member pilots volunteering their time to fly kids ages 8-17 to introduce them to the world of flight. Since the first flights at the 1992 EAA fly-in convention, more than 50,000 volunteer pilots have flown in excess of 2.3 million young people.
“Fred’s remarkable accomplishment is indicative of the dedication of our Young Eagles volunteers to make a difference and build the future of flight,” said Jack J. Pelton, EAA CEO and Chairman of the Board. “There are so many young pilots today who got their start when an EAA-member pilot provided that first flight, igniting a spark that became a career for many. Fred and all those EAA members have earned our congratulations and sincere thanks for their efforts, along with a call for other aviators to join us in flying Young Eagles.”
Many of Stadler’s Young Eagles flights came as a volunteer pilot at the EAA Aviation Museum’s Pioneer Airport, a seasonal operation that re-creates the feel of a 1930s airfield. Young visitors can receive a free Young Eagles flight (with parental permission) when they visit the museum during the Pioneer Airport season.
In addition to his Young Eagles flying, Stadler is a dedicated EAA volunteer throughout the year. He has also flown Pioneer Airport’s Travel Air and Swallow biplanes, becoming the de facto historian on those airplanes. In addition, he volunteers substantial time during AirVenture in the North 40 aircraft camping area and is highly active in EAA Chapter 252 activities in Oshkosh.
Stadler and his late wife, Carol, received EAA’s Henry Kimberly Spirit of Leadership Award in 2006 for their volunteer efforts by Oshkosh-area residents.
The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and embodies The Spirit of Aviation through the world’s most engaged community of aviation enthusiasts. EAA’s 270,000 members and 900 local chapters enjoy the fun and camaraderie of sharing their passion for flying, building and restoring recreational aircraft. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 800-JOIN-EAA (800-564-6322) or go to www.eaa.org. For continual news updates, connect with www.twitter.com/EAA.