(OSHKOSH, Wis., July 29, 2021) - Phillips 66® Aviation is proud to announce the 2021 Phillips 66 Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Young Eagles Leadership Award. The award recognizes outstanding Young Eagles volunteers that have supported the future of aviation by going above and beyond the basic Young Eagles flight. This year, the award goes to Douglas Conciatu, EAA Lifetime Member 53419 of Macomb, Michigan.
For nearly 30 years, Conciatu has been an active member of the EAA, flying Young Eagles every year, mostly from his home airport in Ray, Michigan. He ranks ninth among Young Eagles pilots across the organization and has flown over 2,400 Young Eagles. He has also been an EAA AirVenture Volunteer at the EAA Blue Barn, and in past years, volunteered to fly Young Eagles at EAA Pioneer Field in Oshkosh during the summer months.
“Being part of the Young Eagles has been an incredible experience. I find so much joy in helping kids of all ages learn to navigate the sky, gain confidence in themselves and truly embrace the spirit of aviation,” said Conciatu. “I am honored to be recognized by Phillips 66 and the Young Eagles community, and I look forward to participating in everything the organization has to offer for young, aspiring pilots across the country.”
Conciatu never thought flying would become a lifelong passion. A self-starter, he began his interest in aviation in high school by reading industry magazines and learning as much as he could about the ins and outs of taking to the skies. At the age of 16, he achieved his first solo flight and received his pilot’s license at 17.
Although piloting was never his full-time career, Conciatu found time to fly as much as he could, while maintaining his day job in public safety before he retired. In addition to being a Young Eagles pilot, Conciatu is an independent flight instructor at Ray Community Airport (57D).
“One summer, I gave a boy a Young Eagle ride at Pioneer, and years later, he found me at Oshkosh to share that he was enrolled at the University of North Dakota, studying aviation. It’s stories like this that make what I do with the Young Eagles and the EAA so incredibly special. That feeling you get when you’ve impacted someone’s life is unmatched, and I’m very grateful to continue what I love and guide younger generations so they, too, can find a passion for flight.”
Not only does Conciatu have a love for aviation, but his wife, Marla Smith, EAA Lifetime Member 739104, is also actively involved with the Young Eagles. Although she is not a pilot, she has volunteered with the ground crews at the Young Eagles rallies and coordinated rides alongside her husband. She and Douglas, in fact, met at AirVenture 13 years ago and enjoy coming back to Oshkosh every summer.
Conciatu is a member of EAA Chapter 13 in Ray, Michigan, and Chapter 252 in Oshkosh.
To learn more about the EAA Young Eagles program, visit eaa.org.
To learn more about how Phillips 66 supports the Young Eagles program, visit phillips66aviation.com.
About Phillips 66® Aviation
Phillips 66 is one of the largest refiners in the United States and a top supplier of jet fuels and avgas to private, commercial and military aviation. Our extensive network of refineries, pipelines and supply terminals translates into secure, cost-effective supply now and in the future. Phillips 66 Aviation supports the nation’s largest branded dealer network. Currently, Phillips 66 Aviation supplies jet fuel and avgas to a network of more than 800 Fixed Base Operations. For more information, visit www.Phillips66Aviation.com and like us on Facebook. Phillips 66 is a trademark of Phillips 66 Company or one of its subsidiaries.
About the Phillips 66® Aviation Young Eagles Rebate
Through the Young Eagles program, Phillips 66 Aviation is committed to spreading awareness and encouraging interest about general aviation among the youth of America. As a proud supporter of the EAA and the Young Eagles program, Phillips 66 continues to provide a $1-per-gallon avgas rebate to all Young Eagles volunteer pilots.
Over 4,000 pilots have used Phillips 66 avgas to introduce more than 2 million kids to the wonders of flight. Because of the avgas rebate, Phillips 66 has helped the Young Eagles program exceed its original goal of one million flights with almost two million flights and counting.