Meet the Young Eagles Chairmen

The EAA Young Eagles Program, now in its 18th year is proudly led by two of aviation’s most well-known pilots, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and Jeff Skiles.

Sully and Jeff became the Young Eagles chairmen on September 29, 2009, taking over from former Chairman Harrison Ford. Ford, the well-known actor and aviator, had served as Chairman since 2004.

The new chairmen bring a message of teamwork and training to the Young Eagles program. A message reflected in their spectacular “Miracle on the Hudson” water landing of their stricken USAirways Flight 1549 Airbus A320 in January 2008.

Both Chairmen look forward to taking an active role in the Young Eagles program and will participate in the annual EAA AirVenture Oshkosh Fly-In.

You can learn more about Sully and Jeff by clicking the links on the right.

Sully Sullenberger’s Bio

Captain Sullenberger holds an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate (ATP) which is the highest level of commercial pilot certification. With more than 40 years of flying experience and 19,000 hours of flight time, Captain Sullenberger is among the most qualified airline pilots in the world. Before his retirement, h was flying the Airbus 320 family of aircraft, and has flown as 'pilot in command' on various other commercial jets including the MD80, BAe146 and Boeing 737. He has also served as a Check Airman where his responsibilities included administering FAA mandated checks to other US Airways Captains and First Officers and was instrumental in developing and implementing the Crew Resource Management course that is used by US Airways.

Prior to joining US Airways, Sully flew F-4 Phantoms in the United Stated Air Force. Captain Sullenberger is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., with a Bachelor's Degree in psychology and possesses two Masters degrees: one from Purdue University in industrial psychology and a second from the University of Northern Colorado in public administration. He is married and has two daughters.

Jeff Skiles’ Bio

The son of two pilots, Jeff Skiles started flying at the age of 16, and to date has logged over 20,500 hours in the air.

Graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Geology and Geophysics, he followed his first love and embarked on a flying career. Jeff became a flight instructor, and worked for several smaller passenger and cargo airlines before being hired by US Airways in 1986.

He has worked the last 24 years as both Captain and First Officer. He holds an Airline Transport Pilots certificate, a Flight Engineer Turbojet certificate, and is Type Rated in 3 different transport category aircraft types.

Jeff lives in Oregon, Wis., with his wife and 3 children. Jeff also currently serves as the Vice-President of the Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations representing more than 28,000 pilots, advocating for safety and security issues of importance to professional pilots.

Jeff is active in General Aviation and the antique airplane movement. He currently owns a 1935 WACO YOC cabin bi-plane based at Brodhead, Wis.

Jeff Skiles on International Learn to Fly Day (video)


A message to Young Eagle volunteers from Jeff Skiles

New Young Eagles Co-chairmen Sully Sullenberger and Jeff Skiles.

Sully Sullenberger, Jeff Skiles and Harrison Ford pause for photos after the news conference

For More Information:

EAA Radio:

Interview - Harrison Ford
Interview -
Jeff Skiles
Interview -
Sully Sullenberger
Tom Poberezny

EAA Video:

News Conference
Tribute to Harrison Ford

Young Eagles Testimonial

A Night to Remember - Harrison Ford Tribute

Photo Gallery