Historic youth aviation education program kicked off at Oshkosh in 1992
The EAA Young Eagles program, the largest youth aviation program ever created, will celebrate its 30th anniversary during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2022, the event where the program began in 1992. EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is July 25-31 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
The AirVenture activities include flights, forums, and recognition throughout the week, which will kick off a full year of 30th anniversary commemorations. Special focus on Young Eagles will take place on Thursday, July 28.
“Over the past three decades, more than 50,000 volunteer EAA-member pilots have flown nearly 2.3 million young people, with thousands of those Young Eagles inspired to pursue their own aviation dreams and careers,” said David Leiting, EAA’s Eagles Programs Manager. “At Oshkosh this year, we want to recognize those volunteers, build on the program’s successes, encourage new pilots to get involved, and celebrate the lives that have been influenced by the Young Eagles program.”
Among the activities scheduled for July 28 are:
· Young Eagles flights in the Ford Tri-Motor and Bell 47 helicopter with young people chosen through local EAA chapters
· An 1:30 p.m. group photo on Boeing Plaza that day, open to all previous Young Eagles, Young Eagles pilots, and volunteers
· A ceremonial 30th anniversary Young Eagles flight prior to the afternoon air show, recognizing the impact of the program on the aviation community
· An evening program at EAA’s Theater in the Woods, featuring noteworthy Young Eagles, scholarship recipients, and other special guests
Throughout the week, the goal is to fly at least 30 Young Eagles during AirVenture. Additional flights will take place in EAA’s powered parachute in the Fun Fly Zone. An expanded Young Eagles presence on the grounds all week will include a pavilion adjacent to the Learn to Fly Center and prop cards available for any airplane at Oshkosh that has been used to fly Young Eagles. Additional activities will be announced as they are confirmed.
After the Young Eagles program’s introduction at a Washington, D.C., news conference in May 1992, the first flights took place on July 31, 1992, during that year’s EAA Fly-In Convention. The initial flights were piloted by EAA president Tom Poberezny and Young Eagles’ first chairman, pilot and Academy Award-winning actor Cliff Robertson. To learn more about the Young Eagles program, visit www.YoungEagles.org.