EAA To Host Webinar Event For Aspiring Aviators


The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is adding to its online educational offerings with a new event designed for aspiring pilots. Scheduled for May 15-20, 2023, EAA’s inaugural Learn to Fly Week will feature webinars on topics including how to get started in flight training, tips for saving time and money during training, preparing for the FAA written exam and examiner tips for passing the checkride. While registration is required, event sessions are open to all and can be attended free of charge.

“Becoming a pilot is a dream for many, but few know where to start their journey,” said David Leiting, EAA Eagles program manager. “Learn to Fly Week was created to help encourage aspiring pilots to take action and begin the pilot training process. Our goal is to show attendees how accessible achieving their dream actually is.”

As part of the Learn to Fly Week effort to “welcome, encourage, and educate new aviation enthusiasts,” EAA chapters will be hosting Flying Start events on May 20. Flying Start attendees will have the opportunity to go on a free introductory flight after attending a presentation about learning to fly. Learn to Fly Week sponsor Sporty’s Pilot Shop will also be offering product discounts throughout the week for participants.

More information about EAA’s Learn to Fly Week can be found at www.eaa.org/ltfweek.

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. These programs are great, but I wonder if EAA follows up to see how many students actually follow through and get their Private Pilot certificate.

  2. “Our goal is to show attendees how accessible achieving their dream actually is.”

    Accessible? But it’s not. You have to work and sacrifice and commit and train and pay lots of money. Even once you get a certificate then it’s medicals and BFR’s and keeping current and finding decent rental planes. Don’t even get me started about the hurdles that come with aircraft ownership!

    It’s not accessible (nor sustainable) if you don’t have a lot of disposable income, do not have consistent health, or do not have the intestinal fortitude for the long term commitment. Getting a motorcycle is “accessible”; becoming a pilot never has been.

  3. I agree Arthur. Sad but someone has to say it. However if a person really wants to fly it is doable. With significant sacrifice.

  4. Promoting, encouraging, and facilitating aviation educational programs among young people can help open doors for them to careers in aviation. Youth aviation educational programs, such as the EAA’s inaugural “Learn to Fly Week,” can provide students with introductory knowledge and skills, and incentive to develop an interest in careers in the industry. These programs can also help junior students explore different aspects of aviation and discover which career path is right for them. Choosing airline or military careers, whether non-flying or flying, is optional. Welcome to the wonderful world of aviation!

    • When you use the word “can” in every sentence, it’s loses convincing reasoning.
      Like Matt W said, what are the actual results of people who DO become pilots?
      Being a realist and having flown thousands of interested people over the last 40 years, the point is that we are not producing pilots, we are producing thousands of people who now have much stronger positive attitude toward small plane operations. This is advertising and thank you EAA for helping give supporters some actual experience in which to back up their already positive opinions to share.

      • Thank you, Arthur. I understand some consider the results of the YE program to be anemic. As a response, in 2011, several of us in the PSP area formed a non-profit called the Coachella Valley Youth Aviation Education Program (CVYAEP) to offer more than just a joy ride. We provided free flight training (3 hours) in a C172 with an instructor, guided Sportys Online Private Pilot Course-based ground school (16 hours), Redbird sim training, medicals, student pilot certificates, logbooks, E6Bs, Sectionals, plotters, and Young Eagles flights, all through private contributions. Over 10 years, 15 out of 350 participants (4.29%) became private pilots or better. It was a rewarding outcome and a way for us old geezers who have ‘slipped the surly bonds of earth’ to give back to aviation. By the way, the EAA’s inaugural “Learn to Fly Week” is a good educational plan and a way to track it’s effectiveness say 5 or 10 years from now.

        • Furthermore, although the latest FAA statistics indicate that women constitute only about 7% of all pilots in the United States, the CVYAEP recorded a participation rate of about 20% by young women. I am hopeful to know the participation rate of young women in the EAA/Sporty’s “Learn to Fly Week” program.

          • I wait for a day when we stop thinking it’s “enlightened and progressive” to be sorting human beings into boxes, sorted like a button collection on outward appearance and arbitrary rarities. I’m just happy to fly and, if anyone I see shows an interest, I say LET GO!

          • The percentage of FAA-rated female pilots is 6%, not 7 or 9 as some claim using the fake student statistics the FAA produces since student certificates no longer expire.

            The percentage of women who are interested in learning to fly and take the first step (despite article titles like this one using the term ‘aviator’ to signal to them that it is a guy thing) has been around 20-30% since the 70s.

            Youth-restricted outreach programs do not work because learning to fly is not really “feasible” for youth unless they have familial financial support or decide to enrol in the military. In fact, FAA statistics show more student pilot certificate issuance after 80 than before 16. Statistics also show that most people learn to fly between the ages of 25 to 35.

            However, there is no outreach effort towards this age group except for the Fly It Forward® call to action during Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week (week of March 8, anniversary date of the first female pilot licence). Many young women start flying lessons immediately after participating without asking others to pay for it…

  5. Aviatrixes and aviators: I believe that the Young Eagles program is recently becoming more effective and inclusive, and the addition of the “Learn to Fly Week” Webinars will contribute to its improvement. Additionally, I am thankful for other aviation scholarship programs that include adolescents of all genders as they are beneficial both to individuals and to the industry. These youth in aviation programs, the minor leagues of aviation, ultimately expand the pilot population eventually leading to increased demand for airframes, engines, propellers, mechanics, avionics technicians, air traffic controllers, FBOs, flight schools, and other related resources. The aviation industry is highly interconnected, and growth in one area can have a positive impact on others. Instead of withdrawing support from these outreach programs, I prefer to continue cooperating and contributing to their success.

    • Well, you know what they say about “insanity”. If more and more scholarships and outreach initiatives aimed at the wrong age group have been ineffective at changing the trends for decades, let’s continue to advocate for more of them. Keep in mind that 50 to 60,000 individuals including 6 to 10,000 women get a new FAA student pilot certificate every year. No scholarships required.

      Please also note that the FAA does not issue aviator or aviatrix certificates and there are no “aviator or aviatrix” associations just “pilot” associations (ALPA, AOPA, etc.). Why insists on using outdated, inaccurate, and gender-specific terms when accurate and gender neutral are available?