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EAA Chapter 541 - Sowela Barnstormers, Inc.


Experience the thrill of flight with the Experimental Aircraft Association's Aviation Foundation and EAA Chapter 541!

Read the chapter information below then click on the link to visit the EAA's Young Eagles site featuring our new Co-Chairman (as of Fall 2009) Capt. Sully Sullenberger and First Officer Jeff Skiles, from US Airways Flight 1549 that landed successfully in the Hudson River in New York.

NEWS FLASH:   New For Young Eagles -- Free First Lesson     

More than 1.5 million youngsters around the world have enjoyed their first flight in a general aviation aircraft thanks to EAA's Young Eagles program, and now they'll have an opportunity to earn a free first flying lesson as well. EAA announced the new program on Monday. "With the addition of the First Flight Lesson, we continue to build on the enthusiasm shown by these Young Eagles and help them continue their journey toward a certificate," said Jeff Skiles, Young Eagles co-chairman. To qualify for the lesson, a Young Eagle must be at least 14, complete Part 1 of Sporty's online Pilot Training Course, which is available free to all Young Eagles, and submit a parental consent form. Once those criteria are met, EAA will issue a voucher that can be redeemed at a local flight school of the participant's choice.

Free access to the Sporty's online course was announced last year, and already more than 3,000 Young Eagles have enrolled and several have taken their flight test and earned a pilot certificate. "Through the EAA Flight Plan, we are working to eliminate barriers that may stand between a Young Eagle and the cockpit," Skiles said. "The First Flight Lesson provides a Young Eagle with actual flight training experience and makes real the lessons they have been learning through the online training course." More info about the lessons can be found here, and more info for flight schools who would like to participate in the program is posted here. EAA will reimburse each school $120 for each student.                                                                                                                                                                               

EAA members understand that the imagination of a child is boundless.  That is why EAA's Young Eagles Program has captured the attention of nearly 500,000 young people and opened their eyes to infinite possibilities through flight.  By the end of 2003, the centennial of the Wright brothers' first flight and the 50th anniversary of EAA, over one million children between the ages of 8 and 17 received a motivational airplane flight and experience a "cockpit laboratory" like none they have imagined.  That program still continues on today.
The enthusiasm that comes from flight is shared at no cost with these young people by more than 22,000 dedicated volunteer pilots and thousands of ground support volunteers.   Most participants are EAA members who generously volunteer flight time, skills and knowledge to make each journey an individualized experience.  Young Eagles flights have benefited inner-city youth, physically-challenged students, and boys and girls of every race, color and creed.
The program's success has been overwhelming.  These Young Eagles are enthusiastic and full of questions.  Their exposure to new horizons has sparked their curiosity about the "next steps" and their future direction in aviation or other positive paths.   Calls to EAA from all over the country about the "next steps" prompted a survey of thousands of students, parents, teachers and pilots.  The results reinforced aviation's unprecedented educational opportunities, including the development of applications for math and science classrooms.  Fascination, curiosity and motivation are exactly the outcomes we hoped for with the Young Eagles Program.  
What Is The Next Step?
Working with EAA’s Young Eagles program, Next Step capitalizes on the excitement created by a Young Eagles flight. For those whose excitement has been fostered by an airplane ride, Next Step makes it easy for these young people to pursue their interest in aviation by providing them with a number of benefits, the most important of which is free and unlimited access to Sporty’s Complete Pilot Training Course online. In addition, each Young Eagle who has taken a ride is provided with their own logbook to record all of their aviation experiences.
EAA Chapter 541 makes an effort to have as many Young Eagle flights as possible.  To find out when the next Young Eagles flights will take place or for further information contact the Chapter 541 President or one of the board members as listed on the contact us link at the top of this page.  


For IRS Tax time, here's how you can deduct some expenses incurred while participating in the Young Eagles Program.


You can deduct Young Eagles expenses under the tax exempt status of the EAA Aviation Foundation participating in the Young Eagles Program.  The IRS ruled that volunteer pilots helping the Young Eagles Program can deduct direct, out-of-pocket expenses actually incurred by the volunteers that are in direct connection with and solely attributed to the Program. 


If the above conditions are met, volunteers will be able to deduct direct out-of-pocket expenses such as:


        fuel and oil directly consumed by the aircraft in the demonstration flight, not to exceed 200 miles

        fuel and oil to another airport within 50 miles to meet a young person

        transportation, not to exceed 30 miles one way, to get to and from the airport

        the rental charges for a bus or van to bring a group of young people to the airport

        the rental expense of an airplane used only for the Program

        postage for mailing the registration records to the EAA Aviation Foundation

        Extra liability insurance purchased solely for flights for the program

        landing tiedown fees at a non-home-based airport

        aeronautical education materials

        meals for the young person (but not the volunteer)

        film and development of pictures for the young person


Indirect expenses, such as hangar fees and annuals, are not considered out-of-pocket expenses.  For the purposes of computing the expense of transporting the volunteer and/or young person to and from the airport in a passenger automobile, a standard mileage rate can be used in lieu of operating expenses.