It's easy to participate. You contact a volunteer pilot through the Young Eagle's website to schedule a convenient time to meet. I don't think my kids were more excited about going on a homeschooling field trip!
We met our pilots early in the morning at a small airport not far from our home. My children's flights coincided with Learn to Fly Day, so both my daughters flew with different pilots at the same time.
We all walked out to the airplane together to meet the pilot and learn about the plane.
My 8yo daughter was a little too short to see out, so Carl, her pilot, got two cushions for her to sit on. What fun would it be to go up in an airplane and not be able to see out? :)
The pilot takes time to teach your child about the airplane, introduce them to the instrument panel, go through all the pre-flight procedures and fill out the log book. They buckle up, put on head gear so they can talk to each other and then they are ready to go!
Your child's flight will last between 15 – 20 minutes or so. The pilots who take the children up in the air are experienced pilots who like to share their love of aviation with others – they seemed especially good with kids. The pilot took time to point out landmarks and other interesting things to my young daughter; she was fascinated at the ground below.
Pilot Carl even let my 8yo fly the airplane by herself!
Your child will be all smiles when they return from their flight! The pilot will take a few minutes to go over a few things and then the kids receive a Young Eagles log book with their first flight logged; they also receive a certificate from the pilot.
What an enjoyable and memorable day, not to mention an educational and totally free homeschooling field trip! Your kids will remember their first flight for the rest of their lives!
The Young Eagles flying experience is just as fun for older teens and offers additional opportunities. My 17yo enjoyed her flying experience as well. Dave, her pilot was very personable and energetic; his love of aviation was contagious!
He took time to teach my daughter about the airplane they were going to fly and went through the checklist and preflight procedure with her. The pilots seem to adjust their instruction based upon the age of the kids. The more questions your kids ask, the more the pilots will share their knowledge and experience!
The plane they flew was a Taylorcraft built in 1948 – seemed kinda old to me, but it didn't seem to bother either one of them!
Once they were in the air, the pilot asked where we lived and they headed towards our house to fly over it. After teaching my daughter how to read the gauges, etc. and giving her a little roller coaster ride to demonstrate altitude, he let my daughter fly the airplane by herself.
Because he thought she was doing such a great job, he let her fly the aircraft almost the entire time. She kept thinking to herself, "Is he ever going to take back control of this airplane?" She loved every minute of it though and can't wait to do it again! Your children can take a free Young Eagles flight once a year.
When my daughter landed, she too was "all smiles". She also received her Young Eagles flight book and a certificate from her pilot.
More Free Homeschooling Field Opportunities
All students who complete their Young Eagles flight receive a free membership to over 300 science and technology museums too! When your child receives their logbook after their flight, it contains an access code to activate their free EAA museum membership. You will need to go to the Young Eagles website to register. Here is the list of museums that your child will receive free admission during the year.
Free Flight Training Course!
Teens between the ages of 13-17 can participate in additional opportunities through Young Eagles. Once they complete their initial flight, they can register to take a complete flight training course – worth over $200! This online course will teach your teens everything they need to know to take the FAA written exams. After they complete Part 1 of the ground training course, they will qualify for a free flight lesson at a flight school of their choice - valued at $120! Pretty cool!
Take a Free Homeschooling Field Trip Anytime!
The Young Eagles program is available year round. They do have a Young Eagles Day once a year to promote this program, but you can schedule your flight any day during the year. Contact a Young Eagles pilot through the Young Eagles website and enjoy a fantastic free homeschooling field trip – it may foster a love of flying in your child that lasts forever!
Share Your Favorite Field Trip Destination!
Where does your family like to go on a field trip? Tell us about one of your favorite homeschooling field trip destinations and win a $25 gas card! See below for details and how to enter!
Share Your Favorite Homeschool Field Trip Destination!
Tell us about your family's favorite field trip destination!
Find More Great Homeschool Field Trips
Find affordable, fun, and sometimes free, homeschooling field trips for your family or homeschool group!
You'll also want to check out some interesting homeschool field trip ideas and destinations shared by other homeschooling parents.
Colonial Williamsburg Homeschool Days
Experience Colonial America at Colonial Williamsburg's Homeschool Days! During the year, Colonial Williamsburg designates several weeks just for homeschooling ...
Smithsonian Museum Day - Free Admission
Who doesn't love going on absolutely free homeschooling field trips?! You'll want to take a break from your homeschool lessons on September 24, 2011 for some free Smithsonian homeschooling fun!
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Thank you SO very much for scouting out all these options for us! You do a great service and really support homeschoolers with your fine efforts! We are indeed grateful.
I just wanted to share a quick story on my journey to homeschooling.
After watching our three oldest nieces go through the public school system, and having numerous friends who have had problems with public schools, when I found out I was expecting a child, I knew I would be homeschooling. I started out by doing ALOT of research, mainly on the internet. And found dozens of websites with so much free information it was amazing, and a blessing!
And since he has been old enough, I have worked daily with him on the basics. As soon as his little sister is old enough, I will be working with her too. We haven't worked out a curriculum yet, because he's still young, but thanks to your website, I'm well on my way, and I look forward to watching my children learn and grow!
Thank you, Heather for putting all this wonderful information together!