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Young Eagles at 30

At AirVenture, EAA will mark three decades of unlocking an aviation future for young people

Actor and former chairman of the Young Eagles program Harrison Ford with two members
Actor and former chairman of the Young Eagles program Harrison Ford with two members

This year at Oshkosh, EAA will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the 1992 launch of its Young Eagles program intended to give young people their first taste of the sky through the access possible through general aviation. With more than two million young people flown on Young Eagles Day over that time, the program has proven incredibly broad in reach, and EAA is aiming to grow it further.

In those 30 years, EAA states, over 50,000 volunteer pilots have provided more than 2.3 million first-airplane rides to young people. While based largely on the dedication of private volunteers in EAA chapters across the country, the program has enjoyed considerable support from the business sector and celebrity pilots alike. For example, Harrison Ford, who is reported to have flown over 300 Young Eagles flights, served as Chairman of the program, and gave the two-millionth Young Eagle ride back in 2016. Other big names associated with the program have included Chuck Yeager, Sully Sullenberger and Jeff Skiles, Sean D. Tucker, and Oscar-winning actor Cliff Robertson.

EAA AirVenture 2022 will take place from July 25-31 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The organization is hoping to achieve 30 Young Eagle flights at this year’s fly-in using the Association’s Ford Tri-Motor and Bell 47 helicopter, both of which have been workhorses at the giant event for much longer than the Young Eagles program has been around. It should be noted, however, that Project Schoolflight, which preceded the Young Eagles program, was launched by EAA founder Paul Poberezny as early as 1955 and helped hundreds of schools across the US build actual airplanes in collaboration with EAA chapters.

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