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Flying Start Program and EAA Learn to Fly Day
By Serena Kamps EAA Lifetime 1011028, Chapter Field Rep I
February 2021 – With 2020 behind us, it's time for chapters to begin thinking ahead to the coming flying season and how they will be a part of promoting aviation in their communities. Once again, we are encouraging chapters to plan to host a Flying Start event in conjunction with EAA Learn to Fly Day on May 15.
EAA understands that in many places in the country, restrictions are still in place, and continues to encourage you to follow any guidelines for your local area. Many chapters have found ways to successfully work within these guidelines. Last July, Chapter 91 hosted a hybrid event with both online and in-person, socially-distanced options. Read about how they did it.
All EAA chapters and squadrons are eligible to host an EAA Flying Start event if they meet the following criteria:
- Availability of local flight instruction
- Volunteer pilots available to provide Eagle Flights
- Buy-in from chapter members to engage with participants during and after the event
- Comfortable gathering area/presentation space for expected number of participants
- Audio/visual equipment with a screen and speakers
In keeping with our goal to make all of our chapter programs easy to implement, EAA provides everything you need to successfully plan, promote, and execute your event. Here's how it works:
- Let us know you're planning to host an event by completing an online registration form. Upon notification that the chapter would like to host an event, EAA will ship you a package containing posters, rack cards, and business cards with space to fill in the details about your Flying Start event. Use these to:
- Market your event.
- Hang your posters around town and hand out business cards and rack cards to those you think would be good candidates. Especially focus on those who have always wanted to learn to fly but haven't started yet. Parents of Young Eagles your chapter has flown are often great!
- Consider creating a press release.
- Advertise on social media.
- Request a ChapterBlast promotional email.
- Add your event to EAA's Online Calendar.
- Set up online registration for your event at FlyingStart.org. Participants can pre-register when you send them the unique link for your event.
- Submit an insurance request form at EAA.org/ChapterInsurance. Do this no less than 30 days prior to your event.
- Download the EAA-provided presentation and video. Presentation can be modified to suit your chapter.
On the day of the event, participants are welcomed in a relaxed environment where they can meet and mingle with chapter members. Next, everyone assembles in a classroom-style area for an EAA-provided presentation and video that covers reasons for learning to fly, types of aircraft available to fly, the flight training process, introduction to local flight instructors, aircraft access, and cost. Anecdotes from various chapter members about their experiences learning to fly or how they've been able to use their pilot's certificate are also great to include.
Following the presentation, participants are introduced to and paired with pilots from the chapter who will provide each one an Eagle Flight. If the weather is not conducive to flying, pilots will work out a time with participants to fly soon after.
Hosting an event is fairly simple and straightforward to do. In addition to all of the resources we provide to make the process as smooth as possible, EAA is pleased to announce that chapters that host an event any time during the month of May and use the online registration system from start to finish with a minimum of five participants will be eligible for two free weekly wristbands for AirVenture 2021!
If you have any questions on this or anything else related to the program, we are here for you! Call Serena at 920-426-6544 or email Chapters@EAA.org and start making plans now for your chapter to be a part of EAA Learn to Fly Day and introduce someone to the world of flight!