Area youths build their first plane
his plane, so I’m following in his footsteps,” Kolb said.
Lane, who is a board member of the Northern California Aerospace Initiative, said the nonprofit group helped get the project, The Yuba Sutter Light Sport Teen Build, off the
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“We thought having kids build a plane together would be a good project to get them interested in different aspects of aviation,” Lane said. “The type of aircraft we’re building is an LSA (light sport aircraft) and that designation allows it to be built by this group, certified and flown.”
He said not all of the students are interested in flying the plane but they all have an inter-
est in some aspect of the project.
“There’s a couple different levels – you hope they get and maintain an interest in aviation, mechanics and flying,” Lane said. “A lot of the students aren’t really interested in getting their pilot’s license, they like the design aspect, the electrical aspect and the mechanics.”
Lane said the individual learning and teamwork are key parts of the project.
“Building an airplane is a team effort and these kids are reading complex plans and using tools they’ve never used – it takes a lot of perseverance,” Lane said. “It took me seven years to built my plane, a Van’s RV8, and its been flying since 2006.”
He said the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 52 in Sacramento, Rotary clubs, Recology Yuba-Sutter and others are supporting the project.
Lane, who took his first flying lesson at age 13, was in the Civil Air Patrol, served in the Air Force and worked for United Airlines for 36 years before retiring two years ago.
Several volunteers are also helping out on different aspects of the project.
Kelly Kolb said the project is a good fit for her son, Jason.
“He’s always been interested in anything that moves, so this gives him a real world application to build something from start to finish,” Kolb said. “There are some kids more interested in the mechanics, engineering and electrical, and this is a great hands on project for them.”
Silas Foster, 16, is one of the project participants who connects with the mechanics of the project.
“I’m more focused on the mechanics and the physics behind it,” Foster said. “I’ve always wanted to be a mechanical engineer and this project is giving me the knowledge to go into a future career.”
He said teamwork, safety and how to follow the plans have been some of the other good experiences while working on the project.
“It’s like watching your child grow,” Foster said. “This is the biggest chance I’ve ever been given.”
The kit costs about $70,000 and school director Chris Mahurin said a Career Pathways Grant through the Sutter County Office of Education made the project possible.
“At the end of the build, we plan on selling the plane to help pay for another kit and do it again,” Mahurin said.
Instructors and students with the Yuba Sutter Light Sport Teen Build assemble part of a wing on Friday at the Sutter County Airport in Yuba City.
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Facebook.com/LSAteenbuild Instructors and students with the Yuba Sutter Light Sport Teen Build pose for a photo at the Sutter County Airport in Yuba City.
Mechanic Kristian Zaniroli services the air conditioning system on a car on Thursday at Palmer Auto Service in Marysville.