On opening day of SUN ’n FUN 2019, Central Florida Aerospace Academy freshman Gabe Otero made his way to the Sheet Metal Workshop in the Workshops Area of SUN ’n FUN.
He was looking for somewhere to volunteer and, he says, “I like to build stuff.”
He spent that first morning working with Ben Proveneaux, a volunteer in the workshop, learning to build a metal notebook donated by Zenith Aircraft.
When I stopped by on Thursday of the show, Gabe was teaching Caleb Rahz from Kirtland, Ohio, how to build the notebook, with some help from Ben.
Caleb is working on getting his A&P certificates, then is going to start working towards his private pilot certificate.
While Gabe is undoubtedly the youngest person in the workshop, he says that doesn’t bother the SUN ’n FUN attendees who stop into the workshop tent.
Every year, CFAA students volunteer at the workshops area. And every year, Zenith Aircraft and Van’s Aircraft donate supplies, banners, and more to the Sheet Metal Workshop, according to Burl Nelson, one of the 12 volunteers in the Sheet Metal workshop.
Burl notes its a great way to learn how to work with sheet metal and pull rivets, plus attendees get to take something home with them, either the Zenith notebook or an axle wrench for the nuts on the landing gear of Van’s aircraft.
“Just banging on sheet metal doesn’t mean anything,” he says. “This way they can finish either of the projects and take them home.”
The Workshops Area is one of the busiest areas of the annual fly-in, with workshops offered on a variety of topics from welding to fabric covering to avionics.