Flabob brings aviation to kids with afterschool program

In a move designed to attract more young people to aviation, Flabob Airport (RIR) in Riverside, Calif., has been bringing an After School Program to fifth and sixth grade students at local schools for six years.

Airport officials already have 28 engagements lined up for the fall and winter months of the current school year and expect more by spring. The goal is to introduce the students to the role and accessibility of general aviation and airports like Flabob.


A group of 5th and 6th graders touring Flabob’s DC-3 with Al Gester.

The Wathen Foundation, which owns Flabob, offers the schools three programs that are taught after regular school hours. The first, taught by Al Gester and Kathy Rohm, focuses on the history of flight and how to build a variety of paper airplanes. The second program, led by Kevin McKenzie and Kathy Rohm, deals with the fundamentals of flight, which are taught using aircraft models. At the conclusion of the session the students are each given a balsa airplane kit. In the third program, the teachers from the first two sessions combine forces with Flabob personalities to give the kids a tour of the airport’s resident DC-3 and the four famous replica racers that were commissioned and are owned by Tom Wathen.

Flabob “The response to the program has been universally enthusiastic and positive,” said Bill Sawin, Director of Development at Flabob. “We hope that this kind of initial contact will entice them to return for Young Eagle flights and possibly enroll in one of the numerous Air Academies we host each year. Some of these kids wind up enrolling in our aviation high school.”

For more information: Flabob.org or call Kathy Rohm at 951-683-2309, ext 104


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