Eagles Wings

Volume 15, No. 3

Fall is one of the best times of the year for Young Eagles flights. The air is cool and crisp, and the kids are back in school. It's a good time to contact local clubs and youth groups looking for activities. 

If you're having a hard time finding potential Young Eagles, I suggest you contact your local Boy Scouts unit. Offer to help the troops earn their aviation merit badge. We have a complete outline of how to do it on our website. Just click here to get started. 

Now is also a good time to see if your pilots have reached their "10 for 2011." Pilots who fly 10 or more Young Eagles in a calendar year earn credits that can be used to help offset the cost of sending a Young Eagle to one of the Air Academy sessions next year. Also, the credits can be used to enhance your local Young Eagles program. The credit program is a great way for pilots to know they're contributing to support a young person's interest in aviation.

Recently, the 10,000th Young Eagle signed up to take advantage of our partnership with Sporty's Pilot Shop and the online Sporty's Complete Pilot Training Course.

The course is part of the EAA Young Eagles Flight Plan which begins with a Young Eagles flight, continues with a free EAA Student Membership, the Sporty's online course, a free first flight lesson at a local flight school of the student's choice, and numerous flight training scholarships and awards. 

It's easy for Young Eagles to unlock these benefits, but it starts with you and your pilots. Every Young Eagle should receive a logbook, and inside that logbook is a special access code he uses to register online for these benefits on the Young Eagles website. 

We appreciate Hal Shevers and his team at Sporty's Pilot Shop for their support in helping us create the Flight Plan. Ever since Young Eagles were granted free access to the course in April 2009, Sporty's has donated courses that have a retail value of more than $2 million. 

To ensure all of your Young Eagles have access to the entire Flight Plan, make sure they receive a logbook after their flight.

Now through the end of the year, pilots who fly and register Young Eagles will be entered into a drawing to win a Lightspeed Zulu headset, courtesy of Lightspeed Aviation. The noise-canceling Zulu headset is valued at $900.

Pilots will be entered into the drawing for every Young Eagle they fly and register through December 31, 2011. A random drawing will be held on January 16, 2012, to determine the winner.

Each Young Eagle your pilots fly increases their chance of winning. 

In addition, there's a second drawing available exclusively for new pilots; any pilot who flies his first Young Eagle between now and the end of the year will also be entered into a companion drawing. If your chapter has pilots who haven't participated before, this might provide a little extra incentive. 

Don't let the fall flying season go to waste!

By Ginny Largent, Young Eagles Coordinator for EAA Chapters 186 and 939

This year, I had the privilege to help out in the Young Eagles office during the week prior to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. I spent three days keying in the Young Eagles registration forms. This was a bit of an eye-opener for me. I was amazed at the number of forms that arrived daily, the number of large rallies that are held, and the number of pilots who fly Young Eagles. Kudos to all of you who participate in the program! 

I did note that the EAA staff, as well as myself, often have to do some research to uncover the required information in order to register the youngsters in the World's Largest Logbook. This surprised me; I believe as a coordinator that I have a responsibility to ensure the registration forms are properly completed prior to submitting them to the Young Eagles office. The process includes checking the forms during the rally to make sure that the information provided about the Young Eagle is legible and correct (to the best of my knowledge). I take a moment to check the birth date because I have found that a parent will sometimes fill in his own birth date as opposed to the child's. An honest mistake, but it could cause the child not to be entered into the World's Largest Logbook.

After a rally, I spend time entering information about the pilot. If it's only a few forms, I will handwrite the pilot information on the form, but if it's a large number of flights, I will prepare labels with the pilot's information to place on each form. It's important to let EAA National (Oshkosh) know the proper information about the pilot, specifically:

  • Young Eagles pilot ID number (or EAA number for a new Young Eagles pilot); you can get the pilot ID number by going to the World's Largest Logbook and keying in the pilot's name

  • pilot's name

  • type of aircraft used for the flight

  • date of the flight

  • chapter affiliation (if there is one).

When this information was provided, the job I did was a snap! So please, take a few minutes and give the EAA staff a hand by properly completing the registration forms. It makes their job easier and ensures that the Young Eagle and the pilot will be properly registered.

All volunteers should be recognized for their efforts, especially the ones we would not hear about. However, you all know how important your ground volunteers are to the success of your program. I would be happy to provide you with certificates and volunteer pins for the year. Please send me an e-mail with the names and when you need them by. Many chapters plan recognition around their annual banquet or holiday party; therefore, please plan ahead so I can have the items to you in advance.

One of the things I really enjoy about EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is meeting old friends and making new ones. This year was no exception. While attending the Young Eagles Awards Dinner, I was looking for one of our guests and found him in the back of the Eagle Hangar looking for a place to sit near some Young Eagles. As I guided him to his table where several Young Eagles, who are now pilots, were waiting for him, we talked about how far the program had come since 1992. I told him how much I appreciated his founding vision and support for Young Eagles. Through the years, he had always been kind and gracious and often took the opportunity to thank me, too.

Despite his advancing years, his focus was still on sharing his passion for aviation with young people. He was a dear, sweet man, and I will miss seeing him again. I think his demure attitude is a lesson for us all. I never saw him use his movie star status to impress anyone, but instead he always kept his focus on young people and how important it was to make strong connections.

Cliff Robertson will always be remembered as the first chairman of the Young Eagles program. May we all try to keep the same focus he had.

Take care,


Michelle Kunes
Young Eagles Program Administrator

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