2011 WAAAM Camp
Alpha. Bravo. Charlie. Do you copy?
All the students who attended WAAAM Aviation Camp do--that's A B C in pilot radio talk. And they can tell you the names for all the parts of an aircraft, the function of theinstruments and pedals in the cockpit , and why you take off into the wind.
This summer's WAAAM Camp for kids age 8 through 11 gave 10 students an exciting and fun packed week impossible to forget.
The class was taught by Donna Davidson,Tex Newman, Russ Paddock and Roy Pettitt, all waaam volunteers.
Through a combination of oral instruction, writing applications and hands on tasks these students learned A LOT in 5 short days.
Each student built a balsa wood glider, hand sanding the airfoil to the necessary shape to create lift so their plane can fly. Each student was challenged to make his or her plane "fly right". It was not a pre-packaged toy. As Davidson explains " It flew because they made it fly".
The students were taught how to read an aviation map, decipher the legend, and chart a course. It all sounds like high level stuff. And it is. As Davidson will tell you "there are a lot of concepts that are college level principles of flight and the kids get it."
Half time breaks included snacks and refreshments and play time in the kids play area of the museum, which is filled with miniaturized models of cars, aircraft and a submarine.
A popular segment of the curriculum included instruction in the operation of radio remote controlled airplanes and helicopters. Each student practiced taking off and landing the helicopterunder the guidance of museum member and volunteer Roy Pettit. Pettit explained the differences between fixed wing and rotor wing principles of flight.
In keeping with its function as a living museum of antiquetransportation, students experienced the inside of an L Bird cockpit, a World War II military jeep, plus a ride in a 1914 Model T Depot Hack driven by museum founder Terry Brandt.
Brandt instructed the students on how to start the engine of this 100 year old vehicle. With something called a "crank" of course. And why there is almost nothing on the dashboard but extra pedals on the floor. And why it's called a depot hack. Brandt made it look easy as the students hopped in for their cruise around the concourse. But as the adults who attended the June Model T class at WAAAM can tell you, it's harder than it looks.
The last day of class presented a special bonus, not on the regular curriculum. Russ Paddock, another WAAAM volunteer instructor who taught the map reading and navigation portions of this class, provided a true flying experience for all the students in a Cessna 172 on Friday.
He is also a licensed pilot and a member of the EAA (Experimental Aviation Association) which operates the Young Eagles program for youth to promote education in aviation.
Paddock is proud to have his grand niece Megan Eshleman enrolled in the class. And he wants to enrich the experience for her and all the students by providing a real flying experience, something he has done many times before. A small patch on his EAA cap reads "100 Missions" representing how many young people he has provided a flying experience to enrich their lives and stimulate new dreams which flying has a way of doing.
Paddock will present each student a Certificate issued by the EAA which reads:
"Let it be known that, student named, has experienced the true adventure of flight and has become a Young Eagle. This name has been permanently entered in the World's Largest Logbook at the EAA Air Venture Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
The students were also rewarded with a WAAAM Museum Pass which is good for 12 months so they can visit the museum as often as they like throughout the year for free."
Don't miss the next camp! WAAAM Aviation Camp will next be offered for youth ages 12-16 this August 15-19. The cost is $110 .Registration is through Hood River Community Education.
Story by Susan Tunno, WAAAM Member Volunteer