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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedFinding a way to get you in the air
Learn to Fly Center helps prospective pilots get started
By Greg Laslo, EAA AirVenture Today

Photo by Greg Laslo
Chan Redfield, right, gives Alan Schiesel flight information at the Learn to Fly Discovery Center.

July 30, 2009 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin  - Flying is a privilege, but it's not just for the privileged. That's the take-home point flight instructor Ted Sanders wants tomorrow's pilots to remember.

"It's for everybody," says the chairman of the EAA Learn to Fly Discovery Center at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009. "We can find a way where we get you in the air."

That is, after all, the purpose of the center: to help prospective aviators get started along the path toward their pilot certificate by providing them information, answers, and even a little bit of motivation to start-and finish-their training.

The center is a project of EAA-affiliate National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI), as well as several participating aviation organizations, including Jeppesen, AOPA, EAA, Pilotjourney.com, Remos Aircraft, Redbird Flight Simulations, and KTKV Flyers. Those partners-along with NAFI member-instructors-allow visitors to get their sport pilot student-pilot certificate, find a flight school, take a ride on a full-motion flight simulator, and even poke around a Remos GX training aircraft.

But even more importantly, the center offers visitors a chance to share the excitement of flying with a group of pilots-who also happen to be experts-as addicted to flying as any they'll find at AirVenture, and who are fired up to give "the greatest gift there is: the privilege and enjoyment of flying," Sanders says. "That's what this tent is all about."

The center also hosts a variety of daily flight-training seminars, including how to begin flight training, how to fly advanced GPS instrument approaches, how to use aircraft flight manuals, and even how to pursue a career in flight instruction. NAFI Executive Director Jason Blair and EAA multimedia journalist Brady Lane will present a forum Saturday to share their experience of training for Lane's sport pilot certificate, which was documented in the "Earning My Wings" video blog on www.EAA.org.

"Our whole goal is to put together a bunch of partners who have something to do with learning to fly," Blair says. "I hope [prospective pilots] come out of it feeling excited about the fact that you can actually learn to fly. It's achievable, you can find it in your local area, and there are resources available to you. You can go do it."

The Learn to Fly Discovery Center is located on Celebration Way across from the EAA Welcome Center.

FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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