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It’s Been a Busy Year

David Leiting, EAA Eagle Programs Manager, EAA Lifetime 579157


September, 2023 —  My goodness — how in the world is it already autumn? Coming off the heels of an amazing EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2023, it’s hard to believe that we are rocketing toward the end of 2023. Though we have much to celebrate thus far, we also have much to accomplish before we start thinking about those winter months.

If you were in Oshkosh for convention this past July, I hope it was another memorable year. Despite the consistent heat and late-week storms, it was one of my favorite conventions to date. As always, I was able to reconnect with my aviation family, tune out the outside world, and see some incredible airplanes. However, the interactions I had with Young Eagles volunteers were among my personal highlights of the year.

The Young Eagles award winners that we celebrated at Tuesday evening’s banquet were as emotional and honored as I can remember. Thursday, we held the inaugural Young Eagles volunteer corn roast. This event is meant to supplement the downsized banquet and provide EAA with the opportunity to thank all our Young Eagles volunteers. This includes ground volunteers, pilots, and chapter coordinators. And of course, the EAA Blue Barn was abuzz all week long. The volunteer support of that facility, and the number of Young Eagles/chapter volunteers that stopped by was very invigorating!

As was shared at many of the Young Eagles activities during AirVenture, I am thrilled to mention that the number of Young Eagles flown in first 6 months of 2023 is the most since 2015! With that, I want to give a massive thank-you to all the volunteers who have started 2023 with a bang! Now, let’s finish this year out even stronger!

Although the Young Eagles 30th anniversary wrapped up at the end of AirVenture 2023, we are on a six-week backlog of waiver entry, so we will provide a full debrief on that initiative in the December 2023 newsletter.

On a personal note, I will be out of the country from September 15 to October 1, 2023. I will have very limited phone and email access but will get back to you as soon as I am back in the office.

The volunteer dedication to Young Eagles never ceases to amaze me. Keep up the great work and thank you for all that you do for aviation!

David Leiting, EAA Lifetime 579157
Eagles Program Manager

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