July 17, 2008 — EAA’s Young Eagles program passed another milestone in late June when a 10-year-old from Midland, Georgia became the 1.4 millionth child to take flight since the program began in 1992.
Ken Sines, EAA 453045, of Columbus, Georgia, provided the flight to Noah Barfield on June 28 in a Piper Cherokee. Sines has flown 755 Young Eagles.
EAA-member pilots, including the program’s chairman, pilot and actor Harrison Ford, continue supplying free flights to children ages 8-17 worldwide. More than 40,000 volunteer EAA pilots have flown Young Eagles, with an estimated additional 50,000 volunteers providing ground support. Click here for information on how you can request a free flight.
“While we celebrate this milestone, it’s important to also recognize that each Young Eagles flight has significance to the young person and the pilot who flies it,” said EAA President Tom Poberezny. “The seeds planted through the program will continue to grow aviation’s future, whether a young person is instantly drawn to aviation, or a personal dream of flight becomes reality years later. Young Eagles is working, and it’s because of each volunteer’s effort to make it successful.”
A Young Eagles flight provides a basic flight experience in a general aviation aircraft. Pilots explain to each Young Eagle how parts of the airplane work and how to prepare to fly safely on each flight. A 15- to-20-minute flight follows, where the pilot further describes the operation of the aircraft. After landing, each Young Eagle receives a certificate signed by the pilot and Ford. The flight information is then recorded in the World’s Largest Logbook.
The Young Eagles program will celebrate the 1.4 million milestone during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, as Ford joins other Young Eagle volunteers and supporters at the annual Young Eagle awards dinner on July and the annual Gathering of Eagles fundraiser on July 31.
Ken Sines flew the 1.4 millionth Young Eagle, Noah Barfield (blue shirt) on June 28.
EAA chapters from around the world participate in the Young Eagles program. Here a pilot from Chapter 231 in Richmond, Virginia, poses in front of his plane with new Young Eagles. Photo by Chapter 231
Bryce Semonian of Poway, California, flew with Brandon Marks on July 30, 2005 during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. Photo by EAA