February 3, 2010 – EAA headquarters — Sixteen year-old Tyler Whitney, of Fenwick, Michigan, probably never looked at himself as an aviation pioneer. He is one, however, as he became the first EAA Young Eagle to pass his FAA Private Pilot written test by using the Sporty’s Complete Pilot Training Course now offered free to all Young Eagles.
The offer was announced last April by EAA and Sporty’s Pilot Shop of Batavia, Ohio, one of the world’s leading pilot and aviation suppliers. Through this partnership, Young Eagles can sign up to take the on line course after their flight. The course guides you through the knowledge needed to take the FAA written test, an essential next step in pursuing a pilot certificate.
Neither of Tyler’s parents have aviation background, but after Tyler took his Young Eagles flight in June 2008 with pilot Robert Allers of Greenville, Mich. (EAA #857229), he wanted to explore flight training. The Sporty’s Online Pilot Training Course allowed him to work toward his goal at no additional cost.
“After my Young Eagles flight I knew I had to fly. It’s what I want to do,” Whitney said. “Thank you for all that EAA is doing…I appreciate it a lot.”
In addition to being the first to complete the course and pass his written test, Tyler has been learning to fly. Tyler earned the money to fly by saving his earnings from part-time jobs. He has logged about 35 hours of flight training with instructor Jeff Ostrander (EAA #866844).
In a surprising coincidence; Tyler was in Batavia, Ohio with his flight instructor on a long cross-country to visit Sporty’s in January, just before he took his written test. While he was there he bumped into EAA Young Eagles Co-Chairman Jeff Skiles. (Also known for his landing in the Hudson River) A couple of weeks later when Tyler became the first Young Eagle to pass his written test after completing the Sporty’s online course, Jeff Skiles called Tyler to congratulate him.
So what is this “pioneer’s” next goal?
Tyler is hoping to pass his flight test and earn his Private Pilot Certificate on his 17th birthday – the earliest date he could take his flight test.
How Can You Sign Up to take the course?
If you haven’t done it yet, contact a local Young Eagles pilot or look through the upcoming events and take a flight. (After your flight you’ll receive a logbook to record the flight and your future aviation experiences. In addition, you’ll receive an access code to unlock the Sporty’s Online Complete Pilot Training Course. Both the logbook and the entire flight training course will be free of charge.
Already a Young Eagle and don’t have a code? No problem, click here and we’ll send you one!
Tyler Whitney, the first Young Eagle to complete the Sporty’s Complete Pilot Training Course and pass his FAA written test. Congratulations, Tyler!
EAA Young Eagles Co-Chairman Jeff Skiles poses with Tyler Whitney and his flight instructor Jeff Ostrander. Little did Jeff and Tyler know that they would be speaking again soon when Tyler passed his written test.
Listen to Jeff Skiles talk about Young Eagles
For More Information
Find a Young Eagles Pilot
Young Eagles Calendar of Events
Sign Up for the Course
Sporty’s Pilot Shop