Young aircraft enthusiasts learn to build, fly a plane at Pacoima airport

Local news

Young aviation enthusiasts were hard at work Saturday building an aircraft that they will eventually learn to fly from the San Fernando Valley.

A nonprofit group dedicated to the hobby and science of aircraft building hosted a youth aviation outreach event at the Whiteman Airport in Pacoima, where kids learned to build a two-seater airplane called ‘The Spirit of Los Angeles.’

The small zenith plane that the children are building was designed by a French engineer Chris Heintz, who helped develop the supersonic Concorde jetliner.

Once ‘The Spirit of Los Angeles is built, the kids who learned to build it will someday learn to fly it.”

“Flying is the most incredible sensation… The most important thing what we do here is, we share that flight and we share that magic with kids,” said Bill Berle, director of development for the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter 40 based in the San Fernando Valley.

“When you get to be the one in the airplane, when the whole world opens up to a kid and they realize that their world is a lot bigger than their little neighborhood around the airport, that’s a magic moment.”

The program not only teaches children technical skills for building aircrafts, but also building confidence for flying.

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