A lot has happened at the Eastern Slope Aviation Academy in the last month so it’s time for an update.
First and most important, due to generous gifts from our donors, we were able to purchase our first primary training aircraft, a two seat 1976 Cessna C 150. This plane is in very good condition having been owned and resident at Eastern Slope Regional Airport for 30 years. It has about 3300 total hours on it and about 200 hours on the rebuilt engine. It has never been used as a trainer which is a real plus since many C 150s are traditional trainers and used ones tend to be in poor condition due to repeated hard takeoffs and landings by students.
We still are in need of a four seat aircraft for instrument, advanced training and rental. We’ve been checking used airplane ad sites like www.barnstormers.com and www.trade-a-plane.com daily and inquiring about any plane that seems to meet our need/budget. Unfortunately, they seem to sell before we get to them at a very inflated price. To say the used airplane marked is HOT is an understatement!!
On August 24th student pilot Dan O’Connor and instructor Woody Woodruff took the first Aviation Academy flight in the C 150. To date we have about 10 student pilots flying regularly and several more trying to arrange their schedule so they can fly.
On September 7th we started Private Pilot Ground School with eight students. They will be meeting Tuesday evenings for 14 weeks. By the end they will be ready to take the Private Pilot written exam which it the first step toward their license. Students are from both Fryeburg Academy and Kennett High School and include Joe Riddensdale, Kennett Aviation Instructor and winner of the AOPA You Can Fly scholarship. Joe also has taken his first flying lesson.
As many of you know, the second leg of the Aviation Academy is training young people who are interested in Aviation Mechanics. Chip Henry donated his Grumman AA1A aircraft to be rebuilt by local students and others who are interested in aircraft rehabilitation and reconstruction. The estimated cost for this restoration is about $50,000 and it will take 3-4 years to complete. Upon completion the plane will either be used as a trainer for the Academy or sold to finance the next mechanics’ project. We have been fortunate to have received an Out-of-School grant and four generous $1000 donations, including one from the Fryeburg Rotary to help start the project. We expect to start work on the plane in October pending securing the use of an indoor hangar to allow work to continue through the winter. Glenn Mori, a local pilot, is working with his son on restoration of their Grumman. He has agreed to be the technical advisor for our Grumman restoration.
The third leg of our mission is to introduce students to career opportunities as an air traffic controller. Virginia Schrader, Director of Mount Washington Valley Career Technical Center and one of our board members is working with the FAA to develop a program for interested students. Hopefully, this will include real air traffic controllers from nearby control tower airports who will serve as mentors.
Future Aviation Academy programs include Aviation Weather, getting Rusty Pilots flying again and Mountain Flying.
Thank you for supporting Eastern Slope Aviation Academy. Stay tuned!
Ed Bergeron, President