100,000 Young Eagles Access Learn To Fly Course


More than 100,000 young people have enrolled in the Sporty’s Pilot Shop Learn to Fly Course following their EAA Young Eagles flights, according to the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). The online course is available for free to Young Eagles as a follow-up to their introductory flight with the program, which aims to introduce young people ages 8 to 17 to aviation by giving them “their first free ride in an airplane” with volunteer member-pilots. As of 2020, 75,000 Young Eagles participants had enrolled in the course.

“The concept to provide Sporty’s online courses at no charge for Young Eagles was developed with input from EAA pilots who had been flying Young Eagles,” EAA said. “Those pilots reported that after their flight, many of the young people wanted to discover more about aviation but lacked access to reliable and professional resources. The goal is to build the next generation of aviators and boost student pilot starts with a group already engaged through the Young Eagles program.”

The Sporty’s Learn to Fly Course, which retails for $279, offers ground school video lessons, FAA test prep and flight training tips. As previously reported by AVweb, EAA Young Eagles celebrated its 30th anniversary over the summer. EAA reports that its volunteers have taken nearly 2.3 million young people on Young Eagles flights to date.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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  1. Although a purchased Sporty’s course is good for life, the free course does expire at age 18 from what I remember.
    This is a great gift from Sporty’s and any Young Eagle who takes advantage of the course should also consider sharing their progress with one or more CFI’s.
    A CFI and Sporty’s support can help you get the most out of the course and also help to keep you engaged in your goal to become a pilot.

  2. Although the program and its many benefits are not understood or well explained to Young Eagles by EAA Chapters, The Sporty’s Learn to Fly program is a very generous and practical gift, sometimes underused, to the EAA Young Eagles. Kudos to Sporty’s.

    As a CFI I used it regularly, guiding Young Eagles program beneficiaries through all phases. The aeronautical educational program goes into details appropriate for the beginner and/or advanced student pilot. Good reference to beginners or as a refresher for the certificated crowd. I recommend its use as designed-preferably under the tutelage of a CFI.

    Here’s what to expect:

    How to Get Started

    Learn how to use this course and start your flight training.

    Quick Start Guide (PDF)

    How to Use Sporty’s Learn to Fly Course (Video Tutorial)

    Course User’s Manual

    Student Pilot Gear Guide

    Video Training and progress tracking

    Test Prep, Knowledge Test Endorsement

    Flight Maneuvers


    FAA Handbooks

    Share progress with a CFI

    Checkride Prep

  3. I was very fortunate to have a father who flew planes, and he encouraged us kids to learn the aviation ropes. On many flights during my teen years, I would observe pilots and instructors as they operated various planes I rode in. One instructor, who owned the FBO my father rented planes from, was Bill Barnes, born to Florence “Pancho” Barnes, of “The Right Stuff” fame. (I only met her once, and she was one, mean woman. Bill was killed in the crash of his P-51.) As he patiently tutored my father on the characteristics of the Doyne Apache, I learned countless lessons about planes, procedures and errors pilots make. During my own training, I realized this discipline is a constant learning environment, and no pilot has a monopoly on knowledge on this topic. We should all adopt the goal of learning more about flying, planes and how to make them safer.