The Young Eagles Program is intended to help young people understand the important role aviation plays in our daily lives and, at the same time, provide insight into how an airplane flies, what it takes to become a pilot, and the high standards flying demands in terms of safety and quality. Most importantly, a Young Eagles experience offers many of these young people a new perspective on the world in which they live, providing a unique, "eagle's eye" view of their home, their school, and their community.
The mission of the National EAA Aviation Foundation's Young Eagle's Program is to
provide a meaningful flight experience for 1 million young people (primarily between the
ages of 8 and 17) by the year 2003 - the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers' first
powered flight at Kitty Hawk - and the 50th anniversary of the EAA.
In 1991 the EAA Aviation Foundation conducted a survey of long-time
members to help determine the organizations future priorities. Nearly 92 percent
said EAA's primary objective should be to involve more young people in aviation. In
1992 the Young Eagles program was launched. Academy Award winning actor and pilot Cliff
Robertson served as the program's first Honorary Chairman. Currently, Brig.
Gen. Chuck Yeager, the first person to break the sound barrier, serves as
Honorary Chairman. Since the program was launched, more than 400,000 young people
have experienced a Young Eagle flight!
The Young Eagles Program hopes to achieve a number of objectives. They include:
- Encourage young people to become interested in flying.
- Provide young people with an opportunity to gain new perspectives on their community, their lives and the world in which they live.
- Raise awareness of aviation career possibilities.
- Help young people understand the knowledge necessary to become a pilot.
- Respond to concerns that the nation's pool of pilots is growing smaller because of fewer new pilot starts and the number of pilots who are growing older - a situation that could cause a shortage of military and commercial pilots by the year 2000.