TeenFlight plane construction takes off-Carihi Mirror

Progress has begun at the Sealand Aviation hangar, as the students in TeenFlight 2 get their hands on the parts.

Cameron Younger (pictured right) and two other students help each other out while doing a rough assembly of the rudder.

Progress has begun at the Sealand Aviation hangar, as the students in TeenFlight 2 get their hands on the parts.

The group of around 14 students in grades 9-12, that are accompanied by an average of about six mentors each session, is constructing a Vans RV-12.

This aircraft has a span of about 27 feet and is nearly 20 feet in length.

The average builder will spend about 700-900 hours to complete an unpainted Vans RV-12

On the Wednesday, Oct. 26 meeting, the students separated into groups and got to work. They began assembling the rudder and doing some painting in between group discussion and looking at charts.

“As far as the plane building part goes, we’re teaching them skills [with] sheet metal and fabrication of parts,” says mentor Grant Neilson.

Neilson also hopes they take away knowledge about the theory of flight and Canadian Aviation Regulations.

Like many, Carihi student Cameron Younger heard about the TeenFlight program over the school announcements.

“[I’m interested] in how much effort goes into building a plane and how complicated it is,” says Younger.

Younger says he can see himself becoming a mechanic when he is older.

Timberline student Cody Kwallek says he wants to build airplanes when he is older and that is why he comes to the TeenFlight meetings.

“I actually heard about [TeenFlight] through the school and I thought it would be interesting to go to,” says Kwallek.

He is unsure of exactly what career in aviation he wants, but says he will figure that out later.

The TeenFlight meetings are every Wednesday evening from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday afternoon from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Sealand Aviation hangar.

TeenFlight offers high school students the opportunity to explore the foundations of aviation, by introducing them to the various parts of an airplane.

The main goal of TeenFlight is to expose the students to aviation, and what they take away from the experience is up to them.

TeenFlight began back in the Spring of 2014 as a collaboration between School District 72 and aviation mentors.

The interest in the program is still growing and many students and mentors keep coming back.