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Five Tips for Improving the Young Eagles Flight Experience — Part 2 of 5

By David Leiting, EAA Lifetime 579157 Eagles Program Manager

December 17, 2021 – Young Eagles rallies are often a marquee event for EAA chapters. Some chapters host one or two large rallies per year, flying between 50 and 100 youths, while others host these events monthly and cap the number of flights at 20 or 30. No matter the size of the event, chapter leaders spend significant time on planning the event. What the facility set-up will look like, who will be volunteering to check in youth or park aircraft, and sometimes even what food will be served. All of this planning is critical to a successful Young Eagles rally.

Despite all this planning, how often are best practices shared for providing the best possible flight experience? The better the experience, the more likely the youth is to latch on to an interest in aviation. After all, the world’s best pancakes are no good if the proceeding flight isn’t enjoyable.

Over the next few months, EAA will feature five surefire tips for improving the Young Eagles fight experience at your chapter’s next rally.

Five Tips for Improving the Young Eagles Flight Experience

  1. Fly One Young Eagle at a Time
  2. Involve the Young Eagle in the Aircraft Walk-Around

Although most pilots conduct a thorough preflight prior to a Young Eagles rally, inviting the youth along for an additional walk-around is a great idea. This additional pre-flight will accomplish two goals: 1) An additional walk-around adds an extra level of safety and 2) It allows the pilot to give the youth a great introduction to what it takes to prepare an aircraft for flight and also assure them that the aircraft is fit for flight.

During the walk-around, pilots can place extra emphasis on control surface movements, inspecting the engine, and critical flight instruments such as the pitot tube. The pilot can explain what to look for during the walk-around, while also pointing out how certain parts of the aircraft (such as the flight controls) will be used during the flight.

These dual walk-arounds also give parents a great photo opportunity of their youth checking out the aircraft!

Check back next month as we discuss conducting a thorough passenger briefing for Young Eagles participants.

For more information on the Young Eagles program visit EAA.org/YoungEagles.

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