Home Community Education EAA Chapter 1044 Announces 2018 Youth Aviation Education Program

EAA Chapter 1044 Announces 2018 Youth Aviation Education Program

Heber-Overgaard, AZ
From left is Matthew Robinson, winner of the 2017 EAA Air Academy, Larry Driver, president of the EAA Chapter 1044, and Julia Reidhead, winner of the 2018 EAA Air Academy.

The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter 1044 is expanding our Youth Aviation Education Program.   We began our Youth Aviation Education Program three years ago with our Aviation Scholarship.  The Youth Aircraft Build Project is the second phase of our Program. 


2018 Aviation Scholarship Recipient

Heber-Overgaard, AZ
Larry Driver presents Julie Redihead with the 2018 certificate of scholarship to the EAA AirVentre in Osh Kosh, WI.

The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter 1044 is pleased to announce our 2018 Aviation Scholarship Recipient.  This year we are thrilled to announce that Julia Reidhead will receive a fully-paid scholarship, including tuition and roundtrip airfare to the EAA Air Academy in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.


Julia is an 11th grader at Mogollon High School.  She carries a perfect 4.0 GPA, is in the National Honor Society and has won many academic awards including Outstanding Biology Student, Outstanding World History Student and Outstanding Spanish Two student.  She also enjoys basketball, softball, and volleyball.


She and Matthew Robinson, one of our 2017 recipients, will be attending the Advanced Air Academy this July.  Matthew is also in the 11th grade at Mogollon High School and is an active member of the State Championship Robotics Team.  


Several days of the Advanced camp take place during the world’s largest and most exciting aviation event – EAA AirVenture 2018.  Approximately 590,000 attendees and over 10,000 airplanes travel to Oshkosh for a week full of aviation experiences.


 The Air Academy offers young people the opportunity to meet and work with aviation professionals while living and learning the arts, sciences, and lore of aviation in both classroom and workshop settings.  They join many other young people, ages 16-18, in the aviation program from around the United States and several foreign countries.  Academy activities will include ground instruction and introductory recreation flight experiences, workshops and classroom study.  EAA’s Director of Museum & Museum Education, Bob Campbell, says, “The EAA Air Academy teaches young people new skills and instills a pride of craftsmanship.  More importantly, it develops their leadership potential and broadens their understanding of both aviation and themselves.  The EAA Air Academy is a benchmark of personal experience…and an aviation experience that will last a lifetime.”


Larry Driver, President of the Chapter said, “This is the third year we’ve sent local high school students to Air Academy.  Julia is our fifth recipient and first female to be selected.  She and Matthew will be fulfilling our Chapter’s mission to provide youth with an educational opportunity to learn about aviation and aviation history.”


Funding for our Aviation Education Scholarship is through various fundraising efforts.  EAA Chapter 1044 has received tax exempt status as a non-profit charity under IRS section 501(c)(3).  Under this IRS non-profit designation, donations to Chapter 1044 are now tax deductible.  If you’d like to help fund our scholarship, your donation can be sent to EAA Chapter 1044, PO Box 1302, Overgaard, AZ 85933.


Youth Aircraft Build Project

We are fortunate to have had a plane donated to the chapter.  This plane, a KitFox, needs restoration before it can be flown again.  There is a long list of repairs needed to bring the airplane to airworthy status, include removing and replacing all fabric; and, fabricating and welding fuel tanks, instrument panels and brackets.  The work will be done by local youth under the mentorship/supervision of our experienced Chapter members.   Many of our members have careers in aviation, so participants may be mentored by air traffic controllers, airline and military pilots, mechanics, electrical engineers, FAA employees – the list goes on and on. In addition, our mentors include many chapter members who are currently building or restoring planes of their own at Mogollon Airpark.  


Chapter Vice-President Curt Randoll is championing this project.  He said, “We fly Young Eagles to give local kids their first experience with flight.  Then, as they get older, we send interested high school students to Air Academy where they learn more about aviation and have a chance to talk to colleges, universities, corporations and federal agencies about careers in aviation.  We kept thinking, what else can we do to expose our local youth to careers in aviation?”  He went on to say, “We heard about teen build projects several years ago at EAA’s AirVenture.  We told our Chapter members about it and one of them donated an airplane to be restored.  With this restoration, not only will the kids be mentored by our chapter members, many of whom have built their own planes, but they will sign in and track their hours in an FAA log book.  These hours can be applied towards becoming an FAA licensed aircraft mechanic (A&P).”


Larry Driver added, “We have to thank our members and our community for all the support they have given us over the years.  By coming to our pancake breakfasts and hot dog sales, they’ve helped us raise the funds to send local youth to Air Academy.  We also need to thank our sponsors for our Aircraft Build Project:  EAA National, who donated a Lincoln welder; the Rural Innovation and Activation network (RAIN) who awarded us $3,000 from their National Science Foundation Informal STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) grant; and, Sentry Fire and Welding in Show Low and our aviation vendors: Aircraft Spruce, Stewart Systems and Leading Edge Air Foils who provide large discounts on our purchases for the restoration.”


If you know of anyone interested in participating, please contact us at eaa1044@gmail.com or curt.randoll@gmail.com.


For more information on EAA Chapter 1044, please visit our website at eaachapter1044.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/eaa1044.


EAA Chapter 1044 is based at Mogollon Airpark.  In addition to our aviation education scholarship, which is part of our youth education program, the Chapter has a very active homebuilder community with about a dozen aircraft in various stages of construction or refurbishment…everything from experimental Super Cubs to Bearhawks to RVs to Lancairs to Rans.