How do I register for Young Eagles flights?
If we are presently booking for an event, you can reserve a time slot for your Young Eagle by clicking on the booking link above and filling in your information. The online system will send you a confirmation email after you register and also a reminder a day before. As we get more pilot commitments we will continue to add slots, so if you can’t get the slot you need, please check back. Generally we continue to add time slots until a few days before the event. When you arrive the day of the event, you will need to fill out a registration form (1 per flight, per Young Eagle). The registration form MUST BE SIGNED by a parent or guardian (on the Liability Waiver Page).
What is EAA?
EAA, the Experimental Aircraft Association, is an international aviation membership association founded in 1953 and headquartered in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Local chapters are located in all 50 states and many countries. Members are aviation enthusiasts of every age group, including many airline and commercial pilots, engineers, business people and even astronauts.
“Experimental” refers to a category of aircraft designated by the FAA for airplanes built by individual craftsmen, as opposed to commercial aircraft manufacturers. Similar to standard category aircraft, Experimental aircraft are inspected and certified airworthy by FAA. The process for building, registering and flying an Experimental aircraft is quite rigorous and regulated in order to put safety first, including hands-on inspections by the FAA, extensive documentation, and flight testing. That being said, you're actually more likely to find commercially manufactured aircraft at a Young Eagles rally (Cessna, Piper, Diamond, Beechcraft, etc.) but you're liable to see an Experimental or two as well.
Why was the EAA Young Eagles program developed?
The EAA Young Eagles Program was developed in 1992 to welcome young people into the world of aviation. Aviation is exciting and vital to our nation's future and the best way to convey that message is to actually experience flight in a first-hand setting.
What do you hope to gain by taking my child 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!
What opportunities are available for my child after the flight?
An EAA Student Membership is available FREE of charge to any young person age 8 – 17 who has completed a Young Eagles flight. At the end of the flight your child will get an official Young Eagles logbook, signed by the pilot, and with a personal code to activate your free EAA Student Membership.(visit https://www.eaa.org/en/eaa/join-eaa/student
and enter the unique code that came with your logbook to activate your EAA Student Membership). Membership benefits include:
Who are the pilots?
The pilots participating in the Young Eagles program are local members of EAA Chapter 414 who are volunteering their time and aircraft to make your child’s flight possible. Each pilot is licensed by the FAA and all aircraft are likewise licensed by the government. The flights are conducted according to federal regulations. No aerobatic maneuvers are performed.
What will the flight be like?
Before the flight your child will go to "ground school" to learn about flight and what to expect on their ride. This will include talking about the design of the airplane, how the pilot controls the airplane, what the control surfaces do, and the four forces of flight. Then your child will be assigned a pilot who will likely provide some additional information, such as reviewing an aeronautical chart and identifying reference points during the flight, completing a careful "walk around" pre-flight inspection of the airplane and identifying the parts that control the airplane, describing the safety procedures pilots use, and describing the interior of the airplane including the controls and instrument panel.
Once in the air, your child will see the earth and sky in a new and exciting way. They will experience the wonderful freedom of flight that many people only dream about. Many people remember this experience for the rest of their lives. The length of the flight will be about 15 - 20 minutes. At the discretion of the pilot, your child may even have the opportunity to take the controls and see how it feels to actually fly the plane (don't worry, dual sets of controls allow the pilot to have full command of the aircraft at all times). Back on the ground there will be additional time for questions.
How many passengers are permitted on a flight?
This depends on the size of the plane. Some are only 2-place, therefore the number of passengers would be limited to 1, while many are 4-place allowing up to 3 passengers.
Would a parent be permitted to fly along?
Only as an exception on very rare occasions, such as when a Special Needs child requires the accompaniment of his/her care giver. We have found that most children benefit the most when not accompanied by another adult and the pilot can concentrate on the Young Eagles.
What aircraft will be used?
Our Chapter members own and fly a very wide variety of aircraft. There is no guarantee that any specific plane will be available at any specific event.
How can I find out if the flight is cancelled due to weather?
In the event we have to cancel for weather we will let you know by email and, if you choose, via text message. You can also check this website and our Young Eagles Facebook page
. We try to post as soon as possible the status of the event whenever it changes. We try our best to conduct flight operations to avoid the obvious disappointments; however, safety is always our primary concern, followed closely by the comfort and enjoyment of our Young Eagles passengers.
Is it possible to bring a group of 8 – 10 kids?
Yes, properly chaperoned groups are always welcome. Keep in mind, however, that registration forms must be signed by parent or guardian at the event, or arrangements must be made to have the forms signed ahead of time if the parent or guardian is not going to accompany the child.
My child isn't 8 years old yet but is very well-behaved, can he fly?
Unfortunately our age limits are an EAA rule that we can't break.
How should my child prepare for the event?
Although flying is a lot of fun, it is also completely new to most of our passengers. There is no comparison between climbing onto a jet at O'Hare and flying general aviation. Even for kids who are eagerly anticipating the flight, they are being immersed into a whole new experience and being bombarded with tons of information in their hour with us. Most kids will find this stressful even though they are enjoying it. As such please accept the following advice from people who do this a lot:
- Kids should get a good nights sleep.
- They'll focus better if they don't have a lot of sugary food in their system.
- They definitely should eat the morning of the flight, but nothing heavy or greasy.