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EAA Builders Education Center Offers Free Workshops

Robbie Culver


July, 2023 — Whatever your interest in aircraft building is, there is a free workshop at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh to show you the techniques, tools, and skill set required.

The Builders Education Center and Workshop Volunteer Center offers classroom areas and workshops, and is included with AirVenture daily admission. Programs include metal forming, fabric covering, composite construction techniques, both gas and TIG welding, as well as sheet metal and wood workshops.

The Workshops Plaza is located just north of the control tower and east of Knapp Street, adjacent to the forums area. To participate just stop by, and if there is an open seat, sit down. Most workshops start with a lecture followed by a hands-on session, and run from 8:30 a.m. until about 11:30 a.m. and then from 1 p.m. to about 3:30 p.m. daily.

Workshop times and specifics may be found in AirVenture Today, on the EAA Events app on your mobile device, or online at EAA.org > AirVenture > Features & Attractions > Workshops and Forums.

Carl Franz, chairman emeritus of the Builders Education Center and the 2021 recipient of the Tony Bingelis Award, sat down with AirVenture Today to discuss the workshops. Each offers an experience to see what building or restoring an aircraft is all about and includes both classroom lecture and hands-on learning.

EAACarl added that EAA offers additional resources for builders — the EAA Flight Advisor program is “underutilized” and has flight advisors to reduce accidents on first flights. The program is designed to increase sport aviation safety by developing a corps of volunteers who have demonstrated expertise in specific areas of flying, and these volunteers are available to EAA members who may be preparing to fly an unfamiliar aircraft.

The EAA Flight Test Manual and Flight Test Cards have “reduced the need” for the program. Carl said flight advisors are like the “Maytag repairman” — they just don’t get calls. He has been a flight advisor for 20 years and said he has received maybe six calls.

Carl also discussed the EAA Technical Counselor program, saying “a lot of people are building planes.” The program offers experienced builders, restorers, and mechanics who can provide guidance to new builders as they work toward complet-ing their aircraft. Both the Flight Advisor and Technical Counselor programs are free to EAA members.

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