With so much happening at Albert Whitted Airport to shape young minds, it’s hard to keep up. We’ve had the SpaceX helicopter stopping for fuel, the PASSAGE Aerospace Day, and the soaring pride of flight scholarships.

In all the excitement, let’s not forget the program that has been educating and delighting kids for decades. 

Over 3,000 kids have learned about flying at Albert Whitted Airport through the Young Eagles Program, and everyone involved in this deserves our thanks.

Let’s hear it for the Young Eagles Program! 

What is the Young Eagles Program?

The Young Eagles Program, created by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), is dedicated to giving young people between 8 and 17 an opportunity to enjoy their first-ever ride in an airplane. It’s the only program of its kind, and its sole mission is to introduce and inspire kids in the world of aviation.

Young Eagles

They’re giving the next generation a love of flying, and our appreciation is sky-high. 

The program was founded over 30 years ago in 1992. Today, they have flown over 2.3 million kids on their first introductory flight, and have flown young people in over 90 countries. 

The flights are free of charge, all made possible by the generosity of the EAA member volunteers. 45,000 EAA members have served as Young Eagles flight leaders, and 50,000 ground volunteers have served the program.

There’s lots more information at www.youngeagles.org such as:

  • Find a Young Eagles flight
  • Become a volunteer pilot
  • World’s largest logbook (a database where you can search for yourself or the pilot who flew you)
  • EAA Young Eagles flight plan
  • Information for parents
  • Chapter and volunteer pilot resources

The effect of this program is incredible: a child who has benefited from the Young Eagles Program is 5 times more likely to become a pilot or enter into an aviation career. In fact, 20,000 aviation professionals credit their inspiration to Young Eagles! The thrill of flying

Speaking about his time volunteering for the Young Eagles Program, Jimmy Graham, Young Eagles Co-chairman and NFL football player said “It’s life-changing, not only for them but for me as well. Those moments and those smiles and the laughter that I get are moments that change me. To be there in that moment with the kid, it really softens my heart. It makes me a better person… I’m blessed to be a part of this.”

Speaking before her flight with Jimmy, Young Eagle Madeline Anderson said “I want to be a pilot and try many different kinds of aircraft, not just one specific one. I really, really do love being in an airplane.”

After the flight, Madeline said, “It was amazing, I really can’t believe I did that!” She then told Jimmy she wanted to be a pilot one day.

The future shines brightly

The Young Eagles Program has delighted and inspired so many children over the years. At Albert Whitted Airport, the people there know that the education of young people is so important, and the Young Eagles Program is an amazing opportunity for children to be able to take to the skies and see the world around them.

Young Eagles

Our mission at Love4AWA is to highlight all of the amazing things that happen at Albert Whitted Airport. The Young Eagles Program is a shining example of how the airport is playing its part in inspiring and educating our young people. One of the things we love about Albert Whitted Airport is that it is investing in our young people, and our future.  

Who knows how many pilots, astronauts, and aeronautical engineers will look back and say that Albert Whitted Airport gave them their wings?

Albert Whitted Airport is known for its amazing history and we know that it deserves an amazing future.  This downtown St. Pete gem is a beacon for so many in our community, so let it shine on and on.