In 2019 Chapter 172 was one of a few Chapters selected to be part of a joint program between the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) and EAA. We received the RC aircraft Kit and tool set in the middle of May of 2019. The first challenge was to find a place where we could gather to build the project and not have to move it or store it away between build sessions. The first place that we thought we could use (our clubhouse) turned out to be a no go, as it just wasn’t the right space.
Luckily our AMA partner Vern Horne was able to secure a room in a building at the regional airport that was perfect for this use. All of the youth were also provided by Vern, who had been working with the local STEM program to get youth involved in aviation with RC aircraft.
On June 8 from 10AM- 12PM we had our first session which was attended by six youths and just as many adult “helpers” if not more (most of the parents stayed to observe). We only had one “build” station setup where a wing section was starting construction. We also had a simulator station setup and Vern’s daughter was teaching the youth who were not actively involved in the building how to fly the RC aircraft. This was Vern’s own simulator as he was unable to get the one supplied with the kit to work on his laptop computer as he does not have a CD/DVD drive available. Each of the youths in turn worked on the build and also flew on the simulator.
In the next session we setup a second build station so we could build different sections of the aircraft at the same time. The youth learned various building techniques from Vern and his helpers. We established 2 hour sessions each Sat in June and July. In August there were no builds as Vern was out of the area on business.We resumed the build in September but it was difficult to compete with all of the various extracurricular activities the youth were engaged in as school had started. We did manage to complete the build by early October however with small groups of 2-3 youths in each session. There were a total of 13 youths who participated in the project over the entire course of the build.