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EAA, Sporty's Open Doors to Aviation for More Than 75,000 Young People

April 2, 2020 - EAA reached an important milestone on its mission to spread The Spirit of Aviation, as more than 75,000 Young Eagles have now taken the next step in their aviation journeys by enrolling in Sporty's Learn to Fly Course after their EAA Young Eagles flights.

The online Sporty's course is available free to all of the more than 2.2 million EAA Young Eagles as a follow-up to their initial introductory flight by volunteer EAA-member pilots. The course is a comprehensive online ground school, test prep, and flight training companion that provides all the knowledge and concepts to pass the FAA private pilot written test, oral exam, and checkride.

"Because many young people have been restricted to online education right now, we've seen a remarkable increase in enrollment in this Sporty's Learn to Fly Course in recent weeks," said Brian O'Lena, EAA manager of Young Eagles and Eagle Flights. "Our thanks to Sporty's Pilot Shop for making this course available at no charge to our Young Eagles, especially as access to classroom-based instruction is limited at this time. The course is a marvelous way to remain enthused and engaged in aviation."

The concept to provide Sporty's online courses at no charge for Young Eagles was developed with input from EAA pilots who had been flying Young Eagles. Those pilots reported that after their flight, many of the young people wanted to discover more about aviation but lacked access to reliable and professional resources. The goal to build the next generation of aviators and boost student pilots starts with a group already engaged through the Young Eagles program.

"It's essential to make sure that young people have opportunities after their initial Young Eagles flight, now more than ever," said Michael Wolf, EAA Lifetime 460022, president and CEO of Sporty's. "The Sporty's Learn to Fly Course has always been a valuable resource for young people to pursue their aviation dreams, but we are even more gratified to have this resource available as a pathway to aviation accomplishment when traditional methods may not be accessible."

This progression from Young Eagles flights to enrollment in Sporty's Learn to Fly Course perfectly supports EAA's mission to grow participation in aviation by sharing The Spirit of Aviation, by giving young people more accessible pathways into the air.

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