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EAA, Young Eagles Named Champions of Public Benefit Flying

September 24, 2014 - EAA and its Young Eagles program were named recipients of the National Aeronautic Association/Air Care Alliance Champion of Public Benefit Flying award, which will be presented at the NAA Fall Awards Dinner in November. In addition, veteran pilot J.J. Quinn will receive the 2014 Distinguished Volunteer Pilot award.

Largely through its extensive chapter network, EAA and Young Eagles have facilitated public benefit flying and educated youths about the opportunities aviation provides. Since 1992, EAA volunteers have provided nearly 2 million young people with the thrill of flight and passing on their enthusiasm for aviation to the next generation. Many Young Eagles have gone on to become pilots, aircraft mechanics, air traffic controllers, or participants in numerous other aviation-related career possibilities.

“The EAA Young Eagles is honored to be the recipient of the 2014 Champion of Public Benefit Flying award,” said Brian O’Lena, EAA’s manager of Young Eagles and Eagle Flights. “It’s the dedication of our EAA member volunteers who have donated their time, talents, and resources to make the Young Eagles program so successful over the last 22-plus years. Because of these volunteers nearly 2 million young people have been introduced to the joy of flight.”

Quinn is a retired 32,000-hour airline pilot who has devoted more than 20 years as a volunteer and has flown for several organizations, including Patient Airlift Services, Pilots n Paws, Wounded Warrior Project, and Angel Flight. He is also a mentor to future aviators, organizing numerous flights for the Young Eagles program and Boy Scouts of America, while serving as lead flight instructor at White Hawk Aviation in Culpeper, Virginia.

Rol Murrow, president of the Air Care Alliance, called aviation volunteers the “heart and soul” of charitable aviation. “The work they perform is invaluable. They fly needy patients for care, inspire youth by providing the unique perspective of their world from above, swiftly transport relief supplies and personnel following disasters, support environmental preservation work, relocate animals to new environments, and perform a myriad of other tasks,” he said. “They all deserve to be honored with national recognition and these awards support that goal. When we honor one we honor all!”

The Public Benefit Flying Awards were created to honor volunteers and their organizations that are engaged in flying to help others, as well as those supporting such work. The awards will be presented at the NAA Fall Awards Dinner scheduled for Wednesday, November 5, 2014, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. 

To nominate someone for the 2015 Public Benefit Flying Awards, please visit the NAA or Air Care Alliance websites. 


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