Chapter 968


By Charlie North



Many pilots share a story of how their love for aviation began and their stories often involve an airplane ride when they were young. These experiences stay with them, fueling their desire to become a pilot. This is important since there is a very real shortage of pilots looming. This is the essence and aim of the Young Eagles program. In addition to giving young people an inspiration, we also hope that exposing them to aviation will encourage them to pursue further education in math and the sciences.

In 2016, Chapter 968 held two rallies, flying a total of 18 young people at the Rutland-Southern Vermont Regional Airport (KRUT). Our events now have a much higher attendance and we generally host at least four events a year, and are looking forward to further growth and holding more rallies. In this article, we lay out the process for a typical rally and also go over the requirements for pilots who are interested in flying Young Eagles.


Your Flight Experience

Your Young Eagles flight will last approximately 20 minutes and you will see the earth and sky in a new and exciting way. This is your chance to experience the freedom of flight that many people only dream about.

Many people remember this experience for the rest of their lives. You will, too!

  1. On the ground: Your pilot explains what will happen during the flight. You may talk about the airplane, review an aeronautical chart (or map), and complete a careful “walk-around” preflight inspection of the airplane.
  2. Just before takeoff: Your pilot explains the interior of the airplane, including the operation of the aircraft door, safety belts, instrument panel, and head sets.
  3. In the air: The flight lasts between 15 and 20 minutes. And, if you want, your pilot may let you take the controls!
  4. Back on the ground: There’s more time for you to ask questions about the flight. Your pilot is happy to tell you more about flying and their particular airplane.

You also get an official Young Eagles logbook with a personal code to activate your free EAA Student Membership and Sporty’s Learn to Fly Course.

Information for Parents

Your child can join the ranks of more than 2 million Young Eagles and see their world from a whole new perspective.

Since 1992, Young Eagles flights have been safely conducted in nearly every type of general aviation aircraft, from light planes to business jets, and everything in between.

These flights for your child are offered at no cost to you. We cover the costs. Also this is not just a one time offer, your child can ride with us at every event we host up till their 18th birthday.

What is EAA?

EAA, the Experimental Aircraft Association, is an international aviation membership association founded in 1953 and headquartered in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Local chapters are located in all 50 states and many countries. Members are aviation enthusiasts of every age group, including many airline and commercial pilots, engineers, business people, and even astronauts. They enjoy all types of airplanes, including "experimental" aircraft, those aircraft built by individual craftsmen, rather than in a factory. “Experimental” refers to the category of aircraft designated by the FAA for these types of airplanes. Similar to standard category aircraft, As with all aircraft, Experimental aircraft are inspected and certified airworthy by FAA.

Why was the EAA Young Eagles program developed?

The EAA Young Eagles Program was developed in 1992 to welcome young people into the world of aviation. Aviation is exciting and vital to our nation's future, and the best way to convey that message is to actually experience flight in a first-hand setting.

What do we hope to gain by taking your child flying?

Each Young Eagle will experience a safe and enjoyable flight that will give them new perspectives on the world and life in general. Young Eagles program participants will understand that an individual's potential is unlimited, and for them the sky is the limit!

Flying also requires an intensive understanding of science and math skills, thus offering the child an understanding of the need for today's STEM programs offered in school. 

Who are the pilots?

Our pilots participating in the Young Eagles program are local members of EAA who are volunteering their time and aircraft to make your child’s flight possible. Each pilot is licensed by the FAA  and all aircraft are likewise licensed by the government. The flights are conducted according to federal regulations. No aerobatic maneuvers are performed.

How does my child become a Young Eagle?

If your child is between the ages of 8 and 17, contact us to register for our next rally. As a parent, you'll need to complete a Young Eagles registration form that is available from our chapter. At registration we can help you fill out the form and answer any specific questions you may have.

What will the flight be like?

First, your pilot will explain what will happen during the flight. This might include talking about the airplane, reviewing an aeronautical chart and identifying reference points during the flight, completing a careful "walk around" pre-flight inspection of the airplane, and explaining the parts that control the airplane, helping buckle your child's seat belt, and describing the interior of the airplane, including the instrument panel.

Once in the air, your child will see the earth and sky in a new and exciting way. They will experience the wonderful freedom of flight that many people only dream about. Many people remember this experience for the rest of their lives. The length of the flight depends on many factors, but most Young Eagles flights last between 15 and 20 minutes.

Back on the ground, there will be additional time for questions after the flight. Please note that each pilot is encouraged to follow the Young Eagles pilot guidelines, but also has the freedom to customize the flight to make the most of local conditions and facilities.

What happens to the registration form?

After the flight is completed, the pilot will issue your child the official EAA Young Eagles logbook and certificate. Our staff then delivers the registration form to the EAA Young Eagles office, where the flight will be officially registered in the World's Largest Logbook.

At the same time, EAA understands that privacy is important. Only basic information is displayed on the web and your address and phone number will never become part of the public database.

EAA will send your child follow-up information about our free online ground school course, details regarding other youth aviation programs, and EAA scholarships. Your child's name and e-mail address will not be sold or used for commercial purposes. EAA is sensitive to keeping you and your child's contact information confidential.

 What if your child really liked the flight?

Your child's first flight is just that: the first. If they really liked their flight and experience gained, they are more than welcome to join us for more flights at each of our Young Eagles Rallies.

This is also not a dead-end invitation. As of February 2019 we can also provide grant money to take a child through flight training to become a pilot. This is a performance-based grant that we can offer to very dedicated youth.





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