16-Year-Old Passes Written Via Sporty's Online Course

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Tyler Whitney, of Fenwick, Mich., has become the first EAA Young Eagle to pass his FAA private pilot written test by using Sporty's innovative Online Pilot Training Course, free of charge. EAA and Sporty's Pilot Shop joined forces last April to offer the training course free to all young pilot aspirants who are introduced to flight through EAA's Young Eagles Program. Participants earn a logbook and an access code to the online course, which would otherwise cost almost $200. The joint-forces approach was seen by both Sporty's and EAA as a natural fit that immediately mates the excitement of a first flight with a clear path forward. All of it, at no cost. Whitney, whose family does not have an aviation background, was hooked at first flight. "After my Young Eagles flight I knew I had to fly. It's what I want to do," he said. Thanks to EAA and Sporty's, it appears he's now on his way, with next steps already in place.

Moving forward, Whitney does plan to earn his private pilot certificate -- a goal he's set for his 17th birthday. In fact, he's already logged about 35 flight hours with an instructor. If he achieves that goal, Whitney will add to his credentials as an aviation pioneer of sorts, showing that the joint effort between EAA and Sporty's doesn't just have legs ... it also has wings.