Young Eagles Program Flies 49,000 Young People In 2022


The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) has taken more than 49,000 young people on free introductory flights via its Young Eagles program this year. The flights were provided by 4,078 volunteer pilots, 1,159 of whom joined the program in 2022. EAA further noted that 93 pilots have completed its 30 for 30 challenge, flying at least 30 youths in honor of the 30th anniversary of the Young Eagles program.

“We are thrilled to see an increase in the number of pilots looking to help inspire the next generation of aviators,” said EAA Eagles program manager David Leiting. “For pilots, the rewards of flying Young Eagles are immeasurable. The only way we get more young people involved in aviation is to have more pilots participate, so the open invitation is always there.”

The Young Eagles program is designed to introduce youths ages 8 to 17 to aviation by giving them their first ride in an airplane for free with volunteer member-pilots. Launched in 1992, the program has provided nearly 2.3 million introductory flights to date. As previously reported by AVweb, EAA Young Eagles passed another milestone last month with more than 100,000 young people enrolling in the Sporty’s Pilot Shop Learn to Fly Course following their Young Eagles flights.

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. But how many of the Young Eagles participants actually convert into students who complete the training to become pilots. Unless it’s significantly more than just your average pilot taking a friend or family member’s kids up for a flight, it’s not really doing anything more than that.

    • Perhaps the BIGGEST IMPROVEMENT to Young Eagles is Sporty’s very generous ground school offer.

      Mirroring the population in general, there are a LOT of those who express a desire to fly–but only a small percentage actually DO it.

      Sporty’s deserves a lot of credit for taking such positive action!

  2. It still provides some interesting fun for a bunch of kids for a little while. They may not fly but perhaps them or their parents will be less likely to complain about airplane noise or close a local airport due to lead anxiety. Maybe they will have added motivation to study. Who knows but a good thing is still a good thing, even if it does not translate into more pilots.

  3. If YE has flown 2.3 million kids since 1992, it has flown an average of 77,000 kids per year. Which means 2022 represents a number well below average. Could be we aren’t back from covid yet.