The Young Eagles Flights (YEF) program is a free nationwide program that is offered by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). Young Eagles Flights take kids ages 8 to 17 on their first free flight in an airplane. The goal of the program is to introduce and inspire kids in the world of aviation.
This program is made possible by the generous pilots who take children up in their planes.
Our Experience with Young Eagles Flights
One day I searched the internet for “free things to do with aviation.” I came across the Young Eagles Flights program. The goal was to find something fun, free, educational, and provide information about possible careers in aviation. Young Eagles Flights far exceeded my expectations!
There were a few airports within the Denver Metro extended area that had EAA chapters. We signed up for the Young Eagles Flights program at the Erie Municipal Airport. We intentionally choose this location because we wanted to experience a different part of Colorado. The signup process was easy.
This is typically a one-day event. Due to weather conditions, it was a two-day event for us.
Day One of Young Eagles Flights
It was sunny when we left our home to go to the small municipal airport. It took about an hour to get there since we took the scenic route. The weather in Erie was cloudy and gloomy. In the Young Eagles Flights email instructions, we were advised to watch out for planes since it was an active runway. The airport was much smaller than we had imagined. It was basically like walking across a small parking lot. Now it made sense why we should watch out for planes. We signed in at the sign-in tent.
We were told that they were hoping that the weather would clear a bit. The pilots need a certain amount of visibility for safety reasons when flying children in the Young Eagles Flights. We sat and waited in the grass then waited some more. One of the pilots asked if anyone would be interested in learning about planes while we waited. The pilot did a thorough explanation of the plane parts and some of the science behind flight.
Once the mini-aviation lesson was over we once again waited. The weather did not clear up so we were told that the fly day would need to be rescheduled. I was grateful for the mini-lesson because I learned a lot and it kept the kids engaged.
Day Two of Young Eagles Flights
A few weeks later, we once again headed to Erie. The weather leaving our house that day was not good. Once we got there, the weather was gloomy and overcast. We waited with hopes that the second attempt would not be canceled as the first had been.
We were given another mini-aviation lesson that went over some things the first one had not. We waited some more. The pilots let us know that the weather had cleared enough to have the flights begin.
My oldest son was grouped with two other kids. He was able to sit in the co-pilot seat. He didn’t operate the controls, but it was still a very cool experience! At the end of the 15-minute flight, he was able to record this flight in a logbook. He also received a Young Eagles Flight certificate and a coupon for a free flight lesson.
How To Sign Up For A Young Eagles Flight
The Young Eagles Flight program is available throughout the United States. We recommend signing up as early as possible. There were many Young Eagles Flights that were at capacity when we were searching for flights. Can’t find a flight? You may want to check multiple locations.
The easiest way to find a location is to visit the Official Become A Young Eagle page on the Experimental Aircraft Association webpage.