EAA wants to offer everyone between ages 8 and 17 an opportunity to fly in a light plane with a qualified pilot—for free! The program is called the "Young Eagles," and over two million such flights have been made since 1992. More than 30 Chapter 563 pilots have flown over 1700 children.
EAA wants to interest children in aviation. Some of these children will pursue aviation as a hobby or as a career, but in either case it helps children focus on constructive activities.
To learn more, contact the chapter's coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. The season runs spring through fall. Flights usually begin at 9 AM, but the weather may favor early evening flights—look for a schedule below.
For adults (ages 18 and older), a similar program exists called "Eagle Flights." Flying Start is a variation on the Eagles flights and includes a presentation about EAA and the chapter. Chapter 563 has not been active in either program, but notice will be given below if this changes.
The schedule has been limited during the pandemic, but flights should resume in the spring of 2023.
We use EAA's registration system for Young Eagles flights. A similar system is available for Eagles and Flying Start events, and while Chapter 563 is not planning for these, the site can help you locate one at other chapters.
EAA offers a number of flight training scholarships. Chapter 563 is active in the Ray Scholarship program, mentoring a high school student in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022. We also provide a limited number of flight scholarships directly.
Each year the chapter provides scholarship funding to students pursuing a career in aviation at local colleges, such as Lincoln Land and Lewis University.
Chapter 563 has in the past sponsored an aviation Explorers Post for local youth. Many years this group would travel to Oshkosh, WI in July to help prepare the grounds for EAA's main fly-in. Recently, though, not enough kids have signed up (the minimum number is five), but if you are interested, contact us by e-mail. Instead, the chapter has been working with the Flight Club at Dunlap High School.
The chapter is looking for teenage students who'd like to try their hands at building an airplane:
The Youth Programs committee is requesting your support for the Young Eagles events. We are also open to Eagle flights at the same time. EAA requires all pilot volunteers working with youth to go through training and a basic background check, both via their web site. Once certified, please send a note to the youth coordinator's e-mail account, above. Your certificate will be valid for three years.