Your kids can get a free flight with a local pilot, learn to fly, get entrance to 300+ museums for the whole family and more, all free through Young Eagles!
It all starts when you participate in your first free flight with the EAA Young Eagles
The EAA, Experimental Aircraft Association, an international association for aviation enthusiasts of every age group, provides free flights for kids through the Young Eagles. EAA was founded in 1953 in Wisconsin and now covers all 50 states and several countries outside the U.S. Their goal with the Young Eagles program is to inspire future aviators and welcome them into the world of flight. Since 1992, over 2 million kids have joined.
On their website, the EAA explains what they hope your child gains from flying.
“Each Young Eagle will experience a safe and enjoyable flight that will give them new perspectives on the world and life in general. Young Eagles program participants will understand that an individual’s potential is unlimited and for them, the sky is the limit!”
Before your child can learn to fly and get the free flight, you will need to first register them. You can get the registration form from your pilot. Your child’s flight is then entered into the World’s Largest Logbook! EAA recognizes that privacy is important to you so your information like address and phone number will remain private.
What is the flight like?
Before takeoff, the pilot explains what is going to happen. Then, you can take a walk around the plane for the pre-flight inspection of the airplane which helps your child learn about different parts of the plane.
In the air, kids get the exciting joy of seeing the world in from a new perspective. Your pilot may even let some of the older kids take the controls! The length of the flight varies from 15 to 20 minutes.
Afterward, kids can ask more questions, pause for pictures, and collect their flight certificates and logbook. Make sure to hang on to those if your child wants to fly again or get free flight lessons.
In our area, the flights are once a year in July. The Young Eagles turn it into an entire day of fun! In addition to flying, kids can make paper airplanes, get their faces painted, and experience a video game-like flight simulator!
As a parent, safety is understandably one of your top concerns and the Young Eagles flights are safe. Kids ages 8 to 17 fly free with trained volunteer pilots, who also volunteer their own airplane, so the type of plane may vary, but generally, they use small aircraft. Each pilot is licensed by the FAA and flights follow federal regulations. There are no aerobatic maneuvers.
Continuing the Magic After Your Flight
Does your child want to learn to fly? The program also has opportunities for children to take free flight lessons and attend over 300 museums free!
After your free flight, your child receives a certificate and logbook. Use the unique code on their logbook to register them online as an EAA student and your child gets FREE access to Sporty’s Learn to Fly Course (worth $215), a FREE flight lesson (worth $130), FREE admission to over 300 science museums, access to scholarships, FREE aviation magazines, and more! It all starts with the first free flight with a pilot near you.
Learn to Fly for FREE
Once you have flown and used the code on your logbook to register online, you can get a free flight lesson for the aspiring pilot in your child! To get the flight lesson for free, your child must have gone on one of the Young Eagles flights, completed the first three sections of the online Sporty’s course, and be over 13 years old.
Get Free Online Training
If you want to continue learning to fly after your first free lesson, you can access free online training or apply to flight school scholarships! Online you can view these learn to fly videos. Or, access the EAA virtual flight academy.
Get Free Student Membership
If you use your logbook code online then you can also get free membership to multiple national aviation associations! For example, you will first register for an EAA Student Membership to receive the free online training and flight lesson. Then, your child can get a FREE Academy of Model Aeronautics Student Membership and a FREE Soaring Society of America Cadet Membership. Membership in these programs means free magazine subscriptions, email newsletters, discounts on merchandise, and access to social media including a personal blog.
Get Free Access to 300+ Museums
Your whole family can visit over 300 science museums FREE through the Travel Passport program. Your pass can get not only the EAA member but also other family members in free! Each museum has a different policy for how many family members are eligible, so read the details and call ahead if you have questions. Also, at the museum, you may be asked to show ID. Participating museums are located all across the U.S. and Canada and there are even a few in other countries! For a list of over 300 museums that you can access totally free, visit the Passport Program website.
Locate Free Flights for Kids
There are chapters all across the United States, and there are several chapters outside the United States including Canada. Use this locator to find a chapter near you.