EAA’s Young Eagles program continued its post-pandemic recovery in 2023, as more than 57,000 young people received flight experiences from volunteer EAA-member pilots as of December 17, 2023.
The total number of youths receiving a free Young Eagles introductory flight this year is the highest yearly total since 60,142 were flown in 2019. These flights were all made possible by 4,493 pilots from 616 different EAA chapters who volunteered their time to help.
“Getting the annual total of Young Eagles flights closer to pre-pandemic levels was a primary goal for the program this year and we are especially gratified for the more than 1,000 volunteer pilots flying Young Eagles for the first time,” said David Leiting, EAA Eagles Program manager. “Our network of pilots and chapters have made this possible through singular flights, or by organizing Young Eagles rallies for their local communities to participate.”
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2023 also marked the conclusion of the 30-for-30 challenge, marking the yearlong celebration of Young Eagles’ 30th anniversary. There were 477 pilots who completed the challenge to fly 30 Young Eagles during the 30th anniversary year. Pilots who reached this milestone were awarded a commemorative polo shirt.
In 2023, the Young Eagles program surpassed a total of 2.3 million free introductory flights since its launch in 1992 and continues to be the largest aviation education program ever created. It also serves as the foundational program for EAA’s many other youth aviation education programs, ranging from the AeroEducate online resource to the EAA Air Academy summer residence camps.
The EAA Young Eagles program is presented by Phillips 66 with additional support from Sporty’s, United Airlines, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Garmin, Lightspeed, Academy of Model Aeronautics, and Global Aerospace.
Pilots interested in flying Young Eagles can visit EAA.org/YEPilots for more information.