The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Foundation has awarded its 2015 Giving Back grants to programs that use general aviation to help critically ill children obtain medical services, prevent youth gang involvement, and allow low-income students to attend a week-long aviation and space camp.
Build a Plane, Hope Flight Foundation, and Sophie Gerson Healthy Youth will each receive a $10,000 grant.Build a Plane will use the grant funds for a gang intervention program in Riverside, California. Over a 12-month period, participants will rebuild and refurbish an Aeronca Champ. When the airplane is complete, project participants will be given flight training in the Champ, which qualifies as a Light-Sport Aircraft.
Hope Flight Foundation will use the grant to provide life-saving flights for seriously ill children for whom costly ambulance rides and commercial transportation are not an option. The grant funds will cover the cost of upcoming flights in California, Nevada, and Oregon.
Sophie Gerson Healthy Youth will use its grant to allow more than 30 low-income students from New York middle schools to attend a week-long aviation and space camp at the New York City Center for Space Science Education. During the camp, students will explore the principles of flight, train in flight simulators, build and fly model airplanes, and take part in simulated space missions.