Massey Air Museum Launches “Opportunity Knocks”

Massey Air Museum

The students, seated from the left are, Liam Peregoy, Kyle Stroup, Andrew Smith, Norman Dixon and Nathan King. The instructors standing from the left are, Tony Saienni, John Williamson, Don Hooker, Joe Molz, Nick Mirales and Bob Dierker. The last two named were the hard working pilots. Missing from the graduation photo was instructor Tom Mellies.

Massey Air Museum’s  ‘Opportunity Knocks’ aeronautical engineering course for high school students was held on the week of July 16 – 20, 2018 at the museum facility.

Five selected students, four from Kent County and one from Queen Anne’s County, were recruited through the County High Schools, all having expressed an interest in aircraft engineering.

The course consisted of 24 hours of both academic and machine shop/fabrication experience, plus one and a half hours of flight time in a variety of aircraft.

The instructors are all museum staff members with many years of engineering experience and a love of flying which they were happy to share with potential kindred spirits.

Smiles were very much in evidence all week and are certainly on display in the photograph taken after graduation. The students are holding certificates from the museum and the local chapter of the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) who also awarded them with ‘Young Eagles’ certificates.

 

The Massey Air Museum Curator, Don Hooker, has long wanted to promote aviation to young people in our community and this summer Massey initiated his program.

Don devised the entire program, proposed that Massey offer it and organized it from start to finish. (Don is also active in the Galena Lions Club).

In pursuance of the Massey Air Museum’s goals of providing community service and promoting general aviation, we wanted to encourage young people to explore aviation by conducting a one week Summer Engineering Course for motivated local high school students. With the success of our first years’s course (just completed July 20th) we hope to be able to increase the class size for next year. Our seven instructors were highly qualified, including two aeronautical engineers, a mechanical engineer, a designer of satellite electrical circuits, a mechanical arts instructor, a retired USAF General and a hang gliding pioneer who co-founded Massey Aerodrome in 2001.

In addition to the classes, each student received two airplane flights (1 introductory & 1 navigation test) and a glider flight.