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Career Eagles: Youth Aviation Adventure

On Tuesday, April 7th, 2015, David Williams, Dean of the Ohio State College of Engineering, and Steve Wathen, chairman and co-founder of the Youth Aviation Adventure Program signed a memorandum of understanding. This memorandum creates a partnership between Youth Aviation Adventure and the Career Eagles Aviation Initiative at Ohio State’s Center for Aviation Studies. According to the Youth Aviation website, YAA is a 100% volunteer run organization that aims to develop a modular, inexpensive, repeatable system for sharing the love of aviation with children that can be transplanted and duplicated anywhere. Ohio State partnered with the Austin E. Knowlton Foundation and the Experimental Aircraft Association to create Career Eagles with the mission of raising awareness and recruiting the next generation of pilots.  

Through the new partnership Career Eagles and YAA have created an Ohio State approved curriculum that will be taught in all YAA locations across the country. The curriculum includes teaching stations where students learn about and interact with an airport crash truck, a police helicopter, and a cut-away of a jet engine. Plane rides are also provided free of charge by the Experimental Aviation Association Young Eagles program. The program already attracts hundreds of students.

Most parents and children are not aware of the wide variety of careers available in aviation or the worldwide shortage of pilots, which is already causing problems for customers and businesses in the aviation industry. The number of flights available is going down and the cost of airfare is going up. Creating Career Eagles and partnering with YAA is one many projects the Center for Aviation is working on in order to address this issue. YAA and Career Eagles future plans include increasing instructional staff, creating a Speakers Bureau, offering Private Pilot Ground School, expanding summer camp and COSI programming, and developing an aviation high school in Cleveland, OH.