Cool Stuff: DEAA Camp

This summer camp is an aviation adventure

October 3, 2013

 DEAA

 

What did you do last summer?

 

No, it’s not the topic of your latest English paper. But if it were, 24 Albuquerque middle and high school students would definitely have something to write about after participating in the Double Eagle Aviation Adventure summer challenge.

 

Created by EAA Chapter 179 in Albuquerque, DEAA gave teens an opportunity to learn about aerodynamics, flight planning, aircraft instruments and systems, aviation-related careers and more.

 

Joyce Woods, DEAA director, said this is the first year the chapter put on such an event. But it was based on a similar program by an EAA chapter in Michigan where she once lived.

 

Woods said the program was created with high school students in mind, but they had several students in middle school and one high school graduate participate. The students varied in their skills and abilities, from no aviation background to having already taken flight lessons and soloing in a private plane.

 

Every morning before classes began, eight or nine aircraft were parked on the ramp and students were able to get an up-close look at the planes and talk to the pilots, Woods said.

 

Through “Meet a Pilot” sessions, students learned about various aviation-related careers. Engineers working in aviation and aerospace highlighted the value of a four-year degree in mechanical, civil or aeronautical engineering.  Other sessions introduced students to careers in air traffic control, aircraft maintenance, law enforcement and commercial airlines.

 

The week also included an aircraft building session, organized by Van’s Aircraft RV homebuilder Guy Prevost, who is the lead for the formation team Chile Flight. The team first did a flyover salute, and then landed, taxing onto the ramp by the building and pivoting in unison with their smoke on, to lead the students in a riveting workshop.

 

“Once we decided to do the camp, Guy said we needed to include an aircraft building session since he wanted the kids to know that flying can be affordable,” Woods said. Students built an airfoil in class and learned about other types of construction.

 

After the week long program, students received a free Young Eagles flight, following a route they had planned earlier in the week. “They sat with the pilot and … told the pilot to fly a particular direction while they looked out the window for the checkpoints,” she said.

 

Woods said the chapter plans to do the camp again next year. “My goal is to build a community of young people, and to cultivate a group of youth who will support each other,” she said. “Getting a pilot’s license takes finances and time, and it is a big commitment for kids in school. We need to build that community so they can support each other.”