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EAA, Sonex Join to Help Young Georgia Aviators

Kit aircraft donated for educational program at historic Candler Field

  • EAA and Sonex Aircraft transfer ownership of a Sonex kit.
    From left: EAA Chairman of the Board Jack J. Pelton; Betty and John Monnett of Sonex Aircraft; Buddy Stallings of Shell Aviation; and Ron Alexander from Candler Field as EAA and Sonex Aircraft transfer ownership of a Sonex kit at Sun ’n Fun April 23.
  • A completed Sonex aircraft.
    A completed Sonex aircraft, built from a kit manufactured by Sonex Aircraft of Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

April 23, 2015 - The “Mystery Box” from last year’s Gathering of Eagles fundraiser at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh will be heading to Georgia to benefit an education program for young people, thanks to the combined efforts of EAA, Sonex Aircraft, and longtime aviator Ron Alexander.

The content of the “Mystery Box” – a full Sonex Aircraft kit with an AeroVee engine conversion – was officially handed to Alexander by EAA and Sonex during a program today at the Sun ’n Fun International Fly-In and Expo in Lakeland, Florida. The kit will be used as part of the youth mentorship program at historic Candler Field in Williamson, Georgia. The program is designed to inspire and support young people with an interest in aviation.

“I can’t imagine a better home for this aircraft kit than the Candler Field Youth Mentorship Program,” said Jack Pelton, EAA’s chairman of the board. “It shows how what we do at Oshkosh during the Gathering of Eagles brings all of us together for a single purpose and has a direct influence on developing a new generation within aviation.”

Following Sun ’n Fun, the aircraft kit will be delivered to Candler Field, which is located just south of Atlanta. Later this year, it will become part of the program that teaches aircraft building and restoration skills under the supervision of experienced adult leaders.

The Sonex aircraft was auctioned on July 31, 2014, and purchased by bidders who donated it back for an educational purpose. Alexander, who is renowned for his interest in aviation history and education, represented the Candler Field youth mentorship program. Alexander is a major force in the preservation of Candler Field, located just south of Atlanta, and the establishment of the Peach State Aerodrome and aviation museum there.

“We at Sonex truly believe in making flying affordable, attainable and fun,” said John Monnett, Sonex founder and president. “We know that this project will get young people to that ‘aha’ moment when they discover that they can put something together that will take to the sky. We’re excited to watch the progress of our aircraft as it takes place.”

The “Mystery Box” auction was a major highlight of the 2014 Gathering of Eagles, which brings together all areas of the general aviation community and annually raises more than $2 million for EAA’s youth education programs. Planning for this year’s Gathering of Eagles, which will be held on July 23 in Oshkosh, is already underway and is welcoming attendees and sponsors. Learn more on the EAA website.

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