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Mar 092013
 March 9, 2013  Posted by  Hot Deals, Recreation
Young Eagles

Just about everyone at some point dreams of flying, but for those with a serious interest, it can be cost-prohibitive just to get off the ground. Young Eagles, a program through EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) gives kids ages 8 through 17 a chance to experience the excitement of flight for free. If your child is a Boy Scout or Girl Scout, make sure to check what badge requirements the Young Eagles program might fulfill. Troops often go to Young Eagle events as a group.

Free flight

The most widely used part of the Young Eagles program is the free flights offered by volunteer pilots. More than a million kids have experienced a Young Eagles flight. To find one, select your state or country and you’ll find a list of volunteers sorted by city, along with their phone numbers.

Sometimes a group of volunteer pilots joins together to hold an event at an airport, offering many kids a chance to go on a flight. These events might include additional activities as well, such as a pancake breakfast or experimental aircraft to view. Find a Young Eagles event near you.

Before a Young Eagles flight, the pilot will take the passenger on a “walk around” inspection of the plane, pointing out the parts of the plane and sharing an aeronautical chart. During the 15-20 minute flight, the Young Eagle might even get the chance to take the controls.

Sporty’s Learn to Fly Course

Every Young Eagle who has completed his or her free flight is eligible to take an online course that leads up to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) written exams. This course normally costs $249 but is free for Young Eagles participants.

First flight lesson

After completing the first three volumes of the Sporty’s Learn to Fly Course, students who are at least 13 years old will qualify for a free first flight lesson at a flight school ($120 value). After that lesson, if students wish to continue to learn to fly, they’ll have to pay for the remainder of flight school, but the Young Eagles program will have helped them to save hundreds of dollars while figuring out if they have a genuine and serious interest in continuing. The program also offers several scholarships for flight lessons.

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Jody Mace

Jody Mace is a freelance writer who has written for publications like O Magazine, Washington Post, and Parents. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband and two teenaged kids. Her colleagues are dogs named Harlow and Shaggy. She publishes Charlotte on the Cheap and takes the “cheap” seriously. For fun she plays mandolin and browses at her local Goodwill Store, where she is “Foursquare Mayor,” as long as that Russell G. doesn’t steal it from her again. You can see her celebration of thrift store finds at Thrift Wrecks.

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