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.
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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