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Mon, Oct 17, 2005

EAA Mourns Loss Of Three In Young Eagles Accident

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is the statement released by the Experimental Aircraft Association in the wake of Saturday's accident that claimed the lives of two Young Eagles, and the pilot who had volunteered to give them their first airplane ride, in Everett, WA.

The staff of Aero-News joins the EAA in mourning their losses, as well as encouraging anyone who has ever dreamed of flying to take to the skies... always with respect for, but not fear of, the risks involved.

Officials at the Experimental Aircraft Association today mourn the loss of a pilot and two passengers involved in an airplane accident yesterday during an educational event involving EAA Young Eagles flights in the Greater Seattle, Washington area.

The educational program involved a group of students of an aviation-oriented vocational high school. Pilots from local EAA chapters had volunteered to give the students free flights in their general-aviation airplanes. The Piper Cherokee 140 airplane went down in the vicinity of Paine Field, an airport in Everett, Washington, just north of Seattle.

"We are deeply saddened by the news of this tragic accident. Our hearts and deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends of the three individuals whose lives were lost," said Tom Poberezny, EAA president.

The accident marks the first fatalities among the approximately 1,200,000 Young Eagles whom EAA members have flown since EAA launched the program in 1992.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident. As of Sunday afternoon, the NTSB had released neither the names of the deceased nor any details of the accident.

The EAA Young Eagles program's mission is to provide youths between the ages of 8 and 17 their first aviation experiences as a way to educate and inspire achievement. Numerous participants have continued pursuing their interest in aviation through EAA's Air Academy and on-line Aeroscholars program. A significant number of the early participants have since moved on to careers in aviation, with former Young Eagles also enrolled in all collegiate aviation programs throughout the country and at all of the nation's service academies.

FMI: www.eaa.org

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