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Chapter 1083 - Building a Zenith Airplane for Pilots with Disabilities

September 2016 - Two groups have banded together for a common goal with EAA Chapter 1083 and John Robinson, the founder of AV84all.org, to build a Zenith CH 750 Cruzer in Salisbury, North Carolina. The EAA chapter members launched the Zenith build on September 10, 2016 at Rowan County Airport (KRUQ).

Chapter 1083 was formed in 1993, and serves to encourage participation in aviation related programs, and to help others experience the thrill of flight. The chapter is committed to assisting AV84all.org with this build, and is looking forward to having a new flying club full of fellow builders, pilots, and enthusiasts in the area. “When I was first contacted by Zenith about helping John with this special project, I felt it was a great chance to help with one of the most important missions of our chapter—to encourage, educate and promote aviation for all,” said Jack Neubacher, EAA Chapter 1083 president.

John Robinson, founder of AV84all.org is excited about what the group build project will do for his organization. “EAA Chapter 1083 is literally making a dream come true for AV84all.org. Without their help it would take a lot longer to get this project off of the ground and they are making flying for the disabled a reality,” Robinson said. He earned his pilot’s certificate through the Able Flight organization in 2015, and wanted to continue on the journey of making general aviation accessible for all people with disabilities. He formed the non-profit organization, AV84all.org, and this group build project is the first step in allowing pilots with disabilities to form a flying club with a Zenith aircraft. Other future goals for AV84all.org include ground school, trial flights, flight training, simulator sessions, and more.

The Executive Director of Able Flight, Charles Stites, is optimistic about the opportunities this project will establish for people with disabilities in many different areas. “It’s wonderful to see this project come together, not as an Able Flight project, but as an initiative of someone who has been through our program,” Stites said. “And it’s especially gratifying that Zenith Aircraft, a company that also supports Able Flight, has generously chosen to work with EAA Chapter 1083 to help make this possible. I am hopeful that the success of this project will inspire similar efforts throughout the country.”

Zenith Aircraft will provide an engineering review to help customize this Zenith CH 750 Cruzer to better fit the needs of the pilots with disabilities involved in this project. “One of the wonderful things about experimental amateur built airplanes is they can be fully customized by the builder to make it one of a kind,” Sebastien Heintz, owner of Zenith Aircraft, said. “The new EAA Maker Edition of SolidWorks is a tool that will be used for the customization of the needed hand controls for this group build project. This computer-aided design software offers a huge advantage to the owner/builder/pilot when building their own aircraft, and especially for those who have a specific purpose in mind.”

Aviation enthusiasts are encouraged to become a member of an EAA chapter in their local area. “EAA’s mission is to grow participation in aviation and our chapter network delivers on our mission in so many ways, and what Chapter 1083 is doing is just another great example,” said Charlie Becker, EAA director of chapters, communities and homebuilt community manager. “Not only will the members of the chapter get to learn and build, but the finished aircraft will create a wonderful opportunity for pilots with disabilities.”

Your help is needed to make this project a reality for all pilots with disabilities. Tax deductible donations are being accepted now for kit parts, tools, engine, and avionics for this project at www.av84all.org/donate or by calling John Robinson at 704-302-3276.

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