December 10, 2009
By Ian J. Twombly
High school students in Horry County, S.C., may soon get the chance to experience flight training or airframe and powerplant training, thanks to a joint resolution by the county council and school board.
AOPA member Al Allen, a county councilman since 2001, helped start the initiative in order to both make use of existing airport facilities and give high school kids in the area exposure to aviation. “I can help through my office to give back to the kids in the area,” he said.
Allen initially came up with the idea as a way to help preserve the airport he uses for his aerial application business. A flight school and airframe and powerplant school that occupied county-owned buildings recently went out of business, so Allen and a friend on the school board approached the county school superintendent, who loved the idea of getting kids involved in aviation.
Over the coming months Allen and his colleagues will work with the local vocational school to provide instructors and equipment necessary to get specially screened high school juniors and seniors into classes leading to pilot and airframe and powerplant certificates.
“We’re shooting for a fall 2010 opening,” Allen said. “But it’s a long shot. More than likely it will be winter 2011.”
To help the students gain employment and further cement the program, Allen plans to reach out to Boeing, which recently announced plans to build a major plant fewer than 100 miles from the airport. “If they are able to provide scholarship money or internships,” Allen said, “it will be a win-win for everyone involved.”
Collaboration between the German government, academia, and airplane manufacturers may make future aircraft cabins more protective of pilots and passengers. The Safety Box team plans to apply auto racing technology to general aviation.
A father and his 14-year-old son were helping another pilot ferry a newly purchased aircraft from California to their home field in Virginia. The three made an overnight stop in Albuquerque before flying on to Illinois for fuel. But shortly after they parked the aircraft in Marion, Ill., they were approached by as many as 18 uniformed and non-uniformed law enforcement officers who came running toward the airplane.
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