April 23, 2009
By Jill W. Tallman
Avemco Insurance Co. has donated a salvaged Piper Saratoga to Build a Plane, a nonprofit program that provides aircraft projects to schools.
Build a Plane founder Lyn Freeman announced the acquisition April 23 at Sun ’n Fun in Lakeland, Fla. The PA-32 was salvaged from a 2007 claim filed with Avemco, and could not be repaired because of extensive water damage. It has been taken to Vero Beach High School in Vero Beach, Fla.
Susan Deblois, instructor at Vero Beach High, said her students will work on the airplane to further their understanding of the principles of aerodynamics. She added that her students were intrigued with the Saratoga’s “history”—that it had been sunk in a Florida bay—and said the project will inspire generations of young mechanics.
After Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma hit the Gulf Coast in 2006, Avemco donated 17 salvaged aircraft to Build a Plane. Currently, Build a Plane recipients are constructing or restoring more than 100 aircraft projects.
AOPA Technical Editor Jill W. Tallman is an instrument-rated private pilot who owns a Piper Cherokee 140.
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