Pilot Flies 10,000 Young Eagles


Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) volunteer Fred Stadler has become the first pilot to fly 10,000 kids for the organization’s Young Eagles program. Stadler joined the program, which offers free introductory flights for young people ages 8 to 17, in 2000. According to EAA, many of his Young Eagles flights took place at the EAA Aviation Museum’s Pioneer Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

“Fred’s remarkable accomplishment is indicative of the dedication of our Young Eagles volunteers to make a difference and build the future of flight,” said EAA CEO and Chairman Jack Pelton. “There are so many young pilots today who got their start when an EAA-member pilot provided that first flight, igniting a spark that became a career for many.”

EAA launched the Young Eagles program in 1992 with the goal of introducing young people to aviation. To date, more than 2.3 million youths have flown with the program and over 50,000 volunteer pilots have participated. As previously reported by AVweb, more than 49,000 Young Eagles flights took place last year.

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. Definitely a great accomplishment, but I am a little unclear about something. The headline reads 10,000 young eagles, but the article says 10,000 flights. Since many flights will carry more than one passenger, I wonder which is correct. A fine accomplishment in either case.

    • Nearly all of Fred’s YE flights are in the two-seat aircraft used at Pioneer Airport at EAA, where he volunteers… a LOT. Others were made in various personal aircraft he has owned over the years which had more seats… but the numbers are probably very close.

  2. I first met Fred in 2003 when a small group of us visited Kitty Hawk just before the reenactment of the first flight and met with the team.
    I can’t imagine a better person to introduce kids to the fun of flight than Fred. His calm, gentle demeanor and confidence would be perfect.
    Congratulations, Fred. You make us all proud.

  3. I would love to see the log book on this achievement. The numbers are pretty staggering when you start doing analysis to see how many years this would take under the best circumstances and putting as many Young Eagles in a four place airplane as it will hold. At a minimum this would take over eight years dedicating 200 hrs of flight per year and each flight lasting 30 minutes. That is a lot of flying.

    • Performance analysis: I would love to know the percentage of Young Eagles participants, specifically in Fred’s case, who subsequently obtained private pilot certification or higher. This will help assess the efficiency of the Young Eagles program.