The Vans RV-12 built by the Campbell River TeenFlight program is almost ready for flight – as soon as Transport Canada says it’s an airplane. The finished plane will hopefully be sold to purchase another kit.

TeenFlight has completed construction on their Vans RV-12

Though the Vans RV-12 is air worthy, it is not an airplane until Transport Canada says it is.

It definitely looks like an airplane.

But Grant Neilson, who is helping out with the TeenFlight program out at the Sealand Aviation hangar at the airport, is very clear in his quelling of that assessment.

“It’s not an airplane until Transport Canada says it is.”

It’s ready to fly, though, as soon as Transport Canada says its allowed to. It’s even got its call numbers (C-FPUN).

So it should be an airplane soon though, assuming all goes as planned. They’ve submitted their application to have the Vans RV-12 airplane registered.

Once that registration comes back from Transport Canada, they can do the final weight and balance calculations on it and request their final inspection.

Then they wait for their “Certificate of Airworthiness – Amateur Built” documentation.

At that point the plane must fly for 25 hours, Neilson says, and it must do so both “problem-free” and while completing certain maneuvers – such as climb tests – before it can be ready for passengers.

Teen Flight began in the spring of 2014 as a joint effort between School District 72 and local aviation enthusiasts, led by SeaLand Aviation owner Bill Alder.

While not run as a traditional credited class, the after-hours program offers secondary school students the opportunity to learn the basics of airplane construction, maintenance and operation.

“The real goal is to get people interested in aviation,” Alder told the Mirror last year around the one-year anniversary of the program. “When I started out, those of us who got into it were really passionate, but it’s really fallen off in recent years.”

And his goal, and those of the other volunteers who are making it happen, is to rebuild that passion – no pun intended.

Once completely built, registered, certified and tested, the RV-12 will be sold in order to fund another build, Neilson says.

“We could sell it any time, of course, but it’s more likely to sell at a decent price once it’s registered and certified.”

Alder announced on the TeenFlight website recently that once the plane is flown and they prove to Vans Aircraft the build was, indeed, done by a TeenFlight program, Vans will refund 10 per cent of the purchase price, as well.

“This will allow us to order some of the kits to start the next build, before we sell this one,” Alder says in the update.

They are still fundraising, however, as they need a few more things before all is said and done with the build, such as insurance.

You will find the plane at the upcoming Wings and Wheels event at the airport July 16, and Neilson says they are also hoping to have it on display downtown for Canada Day, weather permitting.