The EAA Young Eagles Program
So Just What Is A Young Eagle?
Way back in 1953, a former active duty United States Air Force pilot from Hales Corners, Wisconsin, one Paul H. Poberezny, founded the Experimental Aircraft Association. The EAA is an organization dedicated to helping amateur aircraft builders and designers network, trade ideas, and discover others throughout the world who share mutual interests. What was born out of a spartan basement office of the family's home grew into the superb world class institution that it is today. The next Poberezny to take the reins of the EAA was Paul's son, Tom, an accomplished aerobatic pilot and member of the famed Eagles Aerobatic Team, and also winner of the US National Unlimited Aerobatic Championship in 1973, along with many other awards.
In 1992, Tom Poberezny, then president of the EAA, founded the Young Eagles program. Its purpose was to introduce kids from 8-17 to general aviation by flying them free of charge. The program exists to this day, and is often found operating at local airports throughout the nation. While Tom is deservingly given credit for founding the program, its real success is in the thousands of dedicated volunteers among the many local EAA chapters around the country. Pilots fly with no compensation, often using their own aircraft, along with the host of other volunteer personnel to fill out the paperwork, fuel the planes, and keep the program orderly and safe. In other words, fulfilling the less glamorous but essential duties that are the backbone of the program.
At the fantastic EAA annual air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin , Air Venture 2016, the 2 millionth Young Eagle flight was flown, an astonishing achievement, and testimony that the spirit of good will and unselfish acts are anything but dead and gone, at least in the general aviation community.
The EAA, recognizing the importance of a well known "celebrity pilots" to promote programs like the Young Eagles, has selected as the program's chairmen over the years the likes of movie actors Cliff Robertson and Harrison Ford; the pilot and copilot of US Airways Flight 1549 who ditched on the Hudson River in January 2009, Captain Chesley Sullenberger and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles; legendary test pilot and first man to break the sound barrier General Chuck Yeager; and world-renowned air show legend Sean D. Tucker.
We S.O.A.R. folks, here in our little corner of the Earth, do not have the wherewithal to lure such star power free of charge. But no matter, we have something better, one of the world's best kept secrets. We have Ritch Judy and his wonderful crew from the EAA Chapter 842! When you come to our annual Aviation Day event at the Greene County Airport in Waynesburg PA, the free Young Eagles Rides are graciously brought to you by EAA Chapter 842 from Fairmont, West Virginia. We would like to take a minute to formally thank Chapter 842 for the several years of service it has provided to S.O.A.R., Greene County, and everyone who has benefited by its generosity. When EAA Chapter 842 is not providing the better half of our event, you can often find them giving Young Eagles rides elsewhere in their home state.
The Experimental Aircraft Association. www.eaa.org/eaa
EAA Chapter 842. They are always in need of planes, pilots, donations, and general help. Become a volunteer and join them. 842.eaachapter.org
The EAA Young Eagles Page. Here you can find the details about taking a ride, volunteering and just about anything else Young Eagle-related. eaa-young-eagles-program