By Shaun Ryan | Aviation Pros
Nov. 14--Teens-In-Flight now has a fleet of two.
The program recently received its second aircraft, a 1977 Piper Archer II. It joins the 1974 Cessna 150 the program has been using.
"We're achieving the goals I had dreamed of for this program and for the kids," said Teens-In-Flight founder Jack Howell. "It's all about the kids, not about us."
Because the Piper is larger than the Cessna, it can accommodate a student, an instructor and the FAA pilot examiner during the student's check ride. When it had only the Cessna, the program had to rent a plane to use for the test.
"It looks like this would save us about $3,000 to $5,000 a year," said Teens-In-Flight executive director Ric Lehman.
In addition, the plane is "fully loaded," according to Howell, including autopilot on three axes.
Teens-In-Flight is a nonprofit organization that provides flight training and aviation maintenance instruction to teens after a parent has been killed or disabled in action, whether in the military or in law enforcement. It partners with Embry-Riddle Aeronautic University and Children of Fallen Patriots to broaden its outreach and contracts with flight schools in other parts of the country to extend its mission to students across the nation.
In May, the program partnered with Daytona Aviation Academy near the Flagler Executive Airport to provide Teens-In-Flight with an address.
Participating teens have an opportunity to earn, at no cost to them, a private pilot's license. In the dozen years since the program's founding, about 130 teens have gone through it, with several obtaining their licenses.
Lehman said about 17 teens are in ground school right now.
The acquisition of a second plane marks a major turnaround from two years ago when the Cessna was grounded for need of a new engine. That crisis was resolved with the assistance of community leaders, who saw to it that the plane got its new engine and took to the air once again.
More information about Teens-In-Flight is available at teens-in-flight.com.
___ (c)2018 The News-Journal, Daytona Beach, Fla. Visit The News-Journal, Daytona Beach, Fla. at www.news-journalonline.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.