Recognizing that most pilots developed their interest in aviation through model building, the Thomas Wathen Foundation has launched another educational program, a model airplane club.
About a dozen students from the Flabob Airport Preparatory Academy, a charter school, meet for two hours on Fridays with Wathen host Al Gester who counts on other volunteers from the Riverside community to assist.
Students begin the program with simple stick models before progressing to small craft powered by rubber bands, eventually working their way up to balsa and tissue models with gas or electric powered motors. They learn to handle radio control with a couple of gliders that were donated to the program and will eventually fly their own radio controlled models.
“Nothing inspires kids like building airplane models,” said Gester. “So many of us got our start in aviation that way that it was only natural to give students at our academy the opportunity to connect the same way so many pilots already have. We do warn them that model building can become an addiction and lead to things like flying lessons. They seem to like that idea.”
For more information: Flabob.org or call Kathy Rohm at 951-683-0142.