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Participation in Young Eagles or a Flying Start Event

By Serena Kamps, EAA Lifetime 1011028

This is the second in a series of articles highlighting each of the 10 criteria considered when determining chapter recognition scores. See more information on the chapter recognition program ›

April 2021 – With the beautiful weather and a new flying season just around the corner, many of us are eager to pull our airplanes out of the hangars and reacquaint ourselves with the joys of flight. It's a rediscovery that reminds us why we love flying so much and takes us back to memories of our early days of flight training or perhaps our very first flight in an airplane. There's a freshness to it and a purity of joy that can only be fully understood by someone who's experienced it. One of the best and most rewarding ways to reexperience that joy is in the face of a young person or adult you are flying for the first time.

With restrictions beginning to lift, many chapters are considering what kinds of activities they can engage in through the spring and summer months. One of the most popular chapter programs is Young Eagles, where kids ages 8 to17 receive a free introductory flight, as well as access to Sporty's online ground school and a number of other benefits. These flights are often offered in a rally format, with multiple pilots flying kids at once.

As a corollary to Young Eagles, the Eagle Flights program was developed to give adults interested in learning to fly an introductory flight and mentorship throughout the flight training process. More recently, the Flying Start program was added to give these adults a straight shot into flight training by combining the flight with a classroom portion given in a group setting, which outlines the flight training process and opportunities to connect with flight instructors.

Your chapter is able to gain a recognition point by either flying at least 10 Young Eagles or hosting a Flying Start event, and there are great opportunities to do both coming up soon! On May 15, many chapters are celebrating Learn to Fly Day by hosting a Flying Start event for adults in their area who are interested in learning to fly. June 12 is International Young Eagles Day and is the perfect occasion for your chapter to hold a Young Eagles rally.

Helping to streamline the registration process for both Young Eagles and Flying Start is an online registration system that allows participants to sign up ahead of time, and the chapter to match up pilots with attendees, print out waivers and certificates, and submit the event info to EAA. You can access these tools at YoungEaglesDay.org and FlyingStart.org.

As extra incentive to consider flying Young Eagles or hosting a Flying Start event, chapters are being offered double Young Eagles credits for each Young Eagles flight given during the months of June, July, and August 2021. Chapters will receive two free wristbands to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2021 when they host a Flying Start event with no fewer than five participants, using the online registration tool.

So what are you waiting for? With the triple benefit of the above incentives, the recognition point for your chapter, and the satisfaction you'll receive from seeing the joy on the faces of the kids and adults you fly, knowing that you had a part in introducing them to what you love most about flying, there is no better time to get involved! Explore the host of resources that are available to you in each of these programs, and start planning your event today! Make your flying this season thrice as rewarding by helping your chapter earn a recognition point and extra Young Eagles credits and/or two wristbands for AirVenture, and achieving the satisfaction of introducing new folks to the world of flight!

If you have any questions on Young Eagles or Flying Start, please get in touch with us at chapters@eaa.org.

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