OSHKOSH, Wis. – Phillips 66® Aviation is celebrating 20 years of providing fuel rebates to Young Eagles pilots, who volunteer their time, aircraft and money to introduce young people to the joys of flight.
What began in 1994 to support a fledging Young Eagles program has now been used by some 5,000 pilots to take hundreds of thousands of youths flying across the nation.
"Phillips 66 Aviation is committed to spreading awareness and excitement about the wonders of aviation to the youth of America," explains Rosemary Leone, Director, Programs Development, General Aviation, Phillips 66. "Programs like the Young Eagles are essential to the future of aviation. We've found that the Phillips 66 Aviation Young Eagles rebate encourages pilots to take more Young Eagles flights."
Take David and Laramie Resler, who have personally introduced 941 kids to the marvels of flying in their white Piper Cherokee 180. "We definitely use the Phillips 66 rebate," David says. "It helps encourage more Young Eagles flights."
With relentless recruiting of youths, coordination of rallies and regular flights, the Reslers are resolute with their Young Eagle volunteer work for EAA Chapter 2 at Smith Field airport (KSMD) in Fort Wayne, Indiana, a Phillips 66 Aviation-branded dealer. In 2012, the Reslers were honored for their Young Eagles efforts with Phillips 66 Aviation Leadership Award during AirVenture.
"The rebate helps," says Robert "Butch" Bejna, who's on an extraordinary mission to share his enthusiasm for flight.
Bejna has taken 1,843 Young Eagles flying – one at a time – in his diminutive Cessna 150 two-seater. The tireless pilot keeps his Cessna at an airport that sells unbranded fuel, but makes the trip to get Phillips 66 avgas and the Young Eagles Rebate at Lake in the Hills Airport (3CK) near Chicago. Bejna earned the 2009 Phillips 66 Aviation Leadership Award when he had just 1,500 Young Eagles flights in his log.
For 20 years, Phillips 66 Aviation has provided $1-per-gallon fuel rebate to offset the cost of qualified Young Eagles flights throughout its network of nearly 900 fixed base operators. The avgas rebate helped EAA's Young Eagles program achieve its original goal of one million flights.
"EAA is on its way to taking 2 million kids flying with the Young Eagles program," Leone says. "We hope the fuel rebate will encourage more pilots to take more Young Eagles flights and help guide general aviation to a strong future."