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EAA Chapter 1522 Young Eagles Build & Fly and RV-12 Projects
John Egan, EAA 336835, Sr. Manager of Chapters
September 2022 –
Here at EAA headquarters, we enjoy hearing about successful chapter programs and activities that our chapters and Warbirds squadrons participate in. So often, good things are happening at chapters and we simply are unaware. Well here’s an example that we are aware of and it’s a good one.
Roll back to 2019. EAA Chapter 1522 in Cynthiana, Kentucky, decided to further their outreach to local youths who have participated in Young Eagles flights. The plan was to engage in the relatively new EAA-designed youth program called Young Eagles Build and Fly. This is a youth RC build-and-then-fly program designed to bring kids back to the airport, and back to the chapter after a Young Eagles flight. The program involves building a SIG LT-40 balsa wood model airplane outfitted with an electric motor.
Beginning late in 2019, the chapter, with a number of post-Young Eagle flight kids, began and continued the construction of the model, hopscotching around holidays and the New Year. You know what happened within the next few months prior to completion. Chapter members and guests were basically unable to meet in-person for the next few months and all work stopped. By late 2020, conditions and practices changed, to where the program was able to continue, resulting in a completed chapter-built RC airplane ready to fly in late 2020. At this time it is important to mention that many of the parents of the participating kids were “all in” as well. Being non-aviator parents, some of them were getting attached to this special organization called EAA Chapter 1522 as they recognized the good that was happening. Sweatshirts in November is the norm regarding early winter gear, and the chapter along with the kids and parents — now EAA and chapter members — flew the airplane.
Not willing to simply part ways and let activity die, the chapter and its membership were able to further their aviation activities by engaging in a full-size airplane build project. Through the generous donation of an RV-12 kit, and with the help of some very special mentors, the build project was started in 2021.
When we introduced the concept of EAA chapters and squadrons designing and delivering an arrow sign pointing toward their home with the distance on it, we never guessed the artistic value these would bring. It has gotten to be a bit of a design competition. Be sure to stop by the Blue Barn next year to see the innovation. We now have about 100 chapter signs, so be sure to bring your chapter sign if it’s not already at AirVenture. Signs should be made of a 1-by-6-inch pine board about 24 inches long.
Those who attended EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2021 may recall seeing a UPS 747-85 airplane sitting in the center of Boeing Plaza for much of the week. For those who climbed aboard into the cargo hull, the uncompleted, but in-process EAA Chapter 1522 RV-12 project was strapped inside. This is a great story in itself. Next, fast forward to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2022 where the completed Chapter 1522 RV-12 resided inside the EAA AirVenture Blue Barn, home to chapters and Young Eagles at AirVenture. The chapter completed the build and brought it back to AirVenture.
This is a great example of how EAA 1522 engaged in the modest Young Eagles Build and Fly program, and it spawned significant activity as a result. Thanks to the dedication of great leadership at the chapters, dedicated members, giving donors, and families with a willingness to allow their kids to participate makes this story so wonderful.
Learn more about the EAA Young Eagles Build and Fly program.