Originally Posted by Paul Grimstad
I am a group member building an RV12 at the EAA105 hanger, Twin Oaks. It is fun to watch your progress and estimate our schedule. I am interested in the set up that you used for getting the Team Flight program established. Age of the students, how many, selection and qualifing process and how funding the cost worked out. What are the plans for the airplane when it is completed. Will it be maintained for the flight training of the student builders? How tough would it be to get another group started on a similar project in say Bend. Thanks, Paul Grimstad
Thanks for your interest. I think most of your questions are answered in the first post of this thread, but I will hit on a couple that my not be.
This is a program where a few people with an interest in doing a project like this got together and made it happen. Someone took care of contacting people or foundations with aviation interests, which have the financial means to fund a project like this. All of the funding was donations made to a non profit organization that we operate the program under.
We have a desire to make it possible for the teens to at least take a flight in the airplane they built. The bigger dream is to provide them with some primary flight training in it. We are still working on the process to make that happen. The long-term goal would be to advance the program to the point where a second airplane could be funded. Some of the (now experienced) teens from the first session would act as mentors for the second session in exchange for flight training using the airplane they helped build (this would require some additional funding but I think we could acquire that). When the second airplane was completed, the first one could be sold, with the proceeds paying for a third kit and some flight training for the second session teens. From this point on the program could conceivably be self sustaining for as long as kids and mentors that want to participate, could be found.
We hope that there will be other teen flight projects in other parts of the country or around the world. The thought of a whole bunch of RV-12's being built by teens with the help of experienced RV builders and EAA chapter members is very exciting to me. It has the potential to be a shot in the arm for general aviation and flying for fun (in the context of helping to develop the next generation of pilots), and possibly aviation as a whole a number of the current teen flight participants have already decided on careers in aero engineering, aviation mechanics, missionary pilot, etc.
Personally, I think every person active in any phase of general aviation should be doing something to engage young people towards in interest in aviation. We have to be honest...flying just for the pure fun of flying is dying. It is still long from being dead, but it is dyeing a long slow death none the less. If something isn't done to turn the trend around, their will be a time in the future when general aviation is not big enough to battle the government bureaucracy that keeps trying to knock it down, nor will the industry be big enough to sustain the businesses and manufacturers that make flying for fun possible. The airlines and the military will own the skies just like in many other parts of the world already. You don’t need to do something with a whole group of kids to make a difference. Consider just mentoring one of the neighborhood kids. Invite them over to your shop and let them work on simple parts. I guarantee that when they someday get a chance to take a ride in your plane with the knowledge that they help with some of the parts, it will have a huge impact on their life. If all of us did this with just one kid some time during build of our RV project, I think it would have measurable impact on general aviation in the future.
It would be really cool if sometime in the future their was a massively long sticky thread here on VAF dedicated just to photos of all of the different kids involved in RV build projects (without even asking I know Doug would be on it in a heart beat)
Any way…got a little off track…sorry…
So the answer to your last question...we hope people will want to do a similar program where they live. I am currently working on a curriculum package that we hope to make available to anyone that has an interest in doing a similar program. It will have a bunch of info about how we structured our program and lesson and project plans for doing all of the initial training. It will eventually have a promotional DVD that can be shown to EAA chapters and other groups while building the volunteer mentor team, and show to potential donors to demonstrate that it has already been done successfully.
The goal is that with this package, some volunteers, and some donors to fund the program, anyone with a desire to make a similar program like this happen, can.