One Million Young Eagles Goal Less Than 125K Away!
Young Eagles program introduced a record 115,000 young people to
the world of flight during calendar year 2002, as the volunteer
Young Eagles effort has now reached more than 875,000 young people
since its introduction in July 1992.
The record total during 2002 also places the program in
excellent position to reach its announced goal of one million Young
Eagles by Dec. 17, 2003 - the 100th anniversary of the Wright
brothers' first powered flight. A flight representing the one
million Young Eagles is planned at Kitty Hawk, N.C., next December
17 as part of EAA's Countdown to Kitty Hawk celebration, presented
by Ford Motor Company.
"As the Young Eagles total grows and we approach
the centennial of flight, you can certainly feel the excitement
among the Young Eagles pilots and ground volunteers," said Steve
Buss (right), Executive Director of the Young Eagles
program. "The goal of one million Young Eagles seemed so far
away just a few years ago, but now it's right there for us to
achieve. We hope that other pilots join us during 2003 and
enjoy being part of what has become the largest youth aviation
education initiative ever created, as well as a very fulfilling way
to pass along the love of aviation to a new generation."
More than 32,000 pilots have volunteered their time, aircraft
and enthusiasm to the Young Eagles program since it was introduced
at the 1992 EAA Fly-In Convention in Oshkosh, Wis. Each day
since then, an average of 315 Young Eagles have been added to the
"World's Largest Logbook" at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh,
which recognizes all Young Eagles and their pilots.
Among the notable highlights of the Young Eagles program in 2002
highest single month for Young Eagles registrations in the history
of the program, as more than 17,000 Young Eagles were registered in
- More than 95 percent of the 1,000-plus EAA Chapters have their
own Young Eagles Chapter Coordinators, who help bring together
young people and local pilots;
- In excess of 3,000 pilots flew at least 10 Young Eagles in 2002
and more new pilots were welcomed into the program than in the
previous two years;
- Young Eagles were flown on six different continents, from
airports ranging from grass strips to major metropolitan airports,
with young people in all socio-economic groups.
The 2003 schedule of Young Eagles activities will include Winter
Flight Fest Day (Feb. 1) and International Young Eagles Day (June
14), days when EAA members and Chapters are encouraged to organize
and participate in local flights and flight rallies. Young
Eagles rallies are also a regular part of many EAA Chapter
schedules each year and a featured part of many fly-ins, from local
gatherings to such events as EAA AirVenture Oshkosh and EAA
"While the sheer numbers within the Young Eagles program are
very impressive, we continue to emphasize the importance of each
individual flight as the essential aspect of the program," Buss
said. "Each young person receives a personal flight
experience, which will create lifelong memories and, we hope, the
initial enthusiasm that could lead to their own exploration of
The Young Eagles program will continue after Dec. 17, 2003,
although the exact details of the program's future have not been
finalized. "Our focus this year is completing the task we set out
to accomplish in 1992 - flying one million Young Eagles by Dec. 17,
2003," Buss added. "The success of the program will ensure
its own future, because there are always more young people who are
waiting to discover flight."
The EAA Aviation Foundation was founded in 1962 and is dedicated
to aviation education, preservation and research.