Young Eagles is an international initiative aimed at providing positive aviation experiences for youth who want to be involved in aviation as either a hobby or future career. There are over 18 Young Eagles groups run by Aero Clubs throughout the country. Recreational aviation in the Aero Club scene is very strong in NZ, with Wanganui being a very active club.
Aero Clubs are 'not for profit' and their primary job is to foster recreational aviation. To do this and provide an open door to this sort of niche hobby, they are run by Commercially licensed and experienced instructors along with a volunteer committee. We provide first-class flight training for people of all ages to both recreational and commercial licence level as well as arrange club events, inter-club and national level flying competitions.
The aviation industry in NZ is relatively small, and pools strongly from Aero Clubs and the recreational aviation community. This is where most commercial pilots' journeys begin; flying in recreational aviation builds skills to a high level and building connections with other aviators is often the entryway into a 'first job'. Young Eagles groups are a kickstarter into this.
Our Young Eagles group is aimed at 15-18 year olds, but applications from any secondary school student will be considered.
Our programme runs from the beginning of Term 2 til the end of each year. We intend on having visits to Air traffic control, aircraft maintenance centres, our local airline Air Chathams, Helicopters, and more. Aviation history, aerodynamics, basic skills and flying lessons are also planned. Young Eagles become an integral part of the Club environment and will get the opportunity to be actively involved with club events, competitions, fly-aways and more. Through the program, thanks to some generous aviation company sponsors, Young Eagles are able to apply for 7 scholarships to help fund flight training.