Area youths build their first plane

Marysville Appeal-Democrat - - FRONT PAGE -

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


“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.


Chris Kaufman/ Ap­peal-Demo­crat

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.

Cour­tesy photo

Fol­low The Yuba Sut­ter Light Sport Teen Build project:

Face­­teen­build 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.

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