Aspiring pilots will get a chance to act out their dreams for a day during the second annual International Learn to Fly Day. Held on May 21st, the celebration is a cooperative effort designed to raise interest in flying and help a younger generation of pilots take their first steps forward into the world of aviation.
On International Learn To Fly Day, pilots can offer introductory flights to any interested people who want to learn to fly. The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) will lead the way by having its individual chapters offer complimentary adult flight lessons across the country on this specific day. For the EAA, introductory flights for adults are an extension of its popular Young Eagles program. Since 1992, that program has offered free flights to more than 1.6 million young people.
Organizations and EAA chapters hosting events connected to International Learn to Fly Day are encouraged to post these events on an official website affiliated with the day. The website fallows visitors to locate any local event designed to encourage a person to discover more about flying and what goes into it. Any group or company can also post their own event on the site that welcomes people interested in flying and flight training.
The inaugural International Learn to Fly Day took place only a year ago after the United States Congress passed a resolution the same year declaring that the third Saturday in May would serve as a day to recognize the contributions of flight instructors, flight schools and aviation groups in promoting flying as well as teaching and training the next generation of pilots.
Initial celebrations of International Learn to Fly Day in 2010 drew more than 40,000 people to nearly 250 events nationwide. Surveys showed that nearly two-thirds of people introduced to aviation on that day planned to pursue flight training on their own after attending one of the 250 events.
EAA officials are encouraging other aviation groups and businesses to join in the efforts to promote flying by offering introductory flights, open houses and seminars at airports and other locations across the globe.