Rowan Area EAA Chapter 1083 in North Carolina recently hosted A.S.C.E.N.D — Aviation Summer Camp Exploring New Dimensions — at Rowan County Airport (RUQ).
The summer camp, for kids 14 to 17, was started with a vision of EAA Chapter 1083 and member Jana Brown of Lexington. The camp was partially made possible through a grant from the Taco Bell Foundation, which helped expand on the original concept.
The week’s classroom activities were based at the EAAgles Nest, the home hangar of the local Sport Aviation group EAA Chapter 1083, and included learning about parts of the airplane, forces of flight, flight controls, alphabet, traffic patterns, instruments, weather and flight planning.
The students really enjoyed the hands-on activities, such as how to cover an airplane with fabric, as well as riveting aluminum panels. They all got to use on the flight simulator, took a field trip to the North Carolina Transportation Museum where they had the rare privilege of touring the DC-3 in the restoration process. They also got to go aboard a Falcon Jet that landed at the airport and talk to the pilot, as well as tour the Citation XLS that flies for Food Lion.
The campers were then invited to once again return to the airport after the camp ended, during a previously scheduled EAA Young Eagle Flight Rally, and get to use what they learned. Each got a flight over Rowan County and the chance to take control of the aircraft and experience what it is like to be behind the controls.
These flights, as well as all the classroom and hands-on demonstration activities, were totally a volunteer effort of passion for their sport by EAA Chapter 1083 members and other members of the local aviation community.
Special thanks need to go out to some of the other behind the scene “movers and shakers” of the organization, chapter officials said, noting Mac and Donna Forbes and Joyce Wood arranged and took care of the campers and volunteers with meals the entire week. Susan Park and Sandra White were instrumental in planning and developing the application, parental releases, and Informational Flyers used in promoting the event. To mention just a couple of the “hands-on” classes, Billy Carter and Bernie Gerstemeier, with the help of other chapter members, hosted a class in fabric covering, and George and Becki Orndorff instructed in building a simulated RV sheet metal control surface. Videographer Christa Thornburg donated her time all week to document the entire event.
“We also want to thank the Rowan County Airport, Airport Director Thad Howell and Line Supervisor Dusty Mills for their excellent cooperation all week,” Jana Brown added. Dusty gave a line crew instructions and Thad told of his career choices in aviation. Larry Macon let the class examine his aerobatic Pitts Special, “the Ride,” and gave an abbreviated demonstration flight.
To cap off the whole week at a “graduation” ceremony each participant were presented a special surprise, a certificate for one hour of professional flight instruction. This can be presented to any area flight school or independent flight instructor of the student’s choice.
For more information: EAA1083.com