“I am also in the process right now of helping reconstruct a wind-tunnel that was brought from Arizona State University. I’ve been heavily involved with that for just over a year. I’m also the maintenance technician and safety officer for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) research project in which our test-bed is an Extra 300 RC airplane.
“I enjoy working with the students. I am a technical assistant for the aircraft “Senior Design” class. In this class the students actually build a flying model which they designed on paper the semester before. I help out wherever they need me. At the end of the semester the students get to bring their models to a test area and see if the planes will fly. It is an exciting time. We have a professional RC pilot that flies for us and a lot of times he has his hands full. I’m having fun so far and look forward to the next chapter in my aviation career.”
For many of you this next story will be the most incredible one you‘ve ever read, but let me assure you it is true. This 16-year-old was given a birthday present by her parents and grandparents, a Texas Sport kit from the American Legend Aircraft.
The family enrolled in the conpany’s KwikBuild Builder Assist Program at the Texas Sport facility in Sulphur Springs, TX. The kit includes the welded and painted fuselage, and the builder has to bolt everything in — the controls, floorboard, and seats, and route the control cables. The wings are partially assembled and some of the ribs are installed. The builder runs the cables, installs the fuel tanks, the fuel system, as well as the pitot static system. McKinley told me she enjoyed doing the fabric work the most; she really enjoys hands-on projects and is very creative.
She said that the N number was her doing, 416MS, “The airplane was for (4) my 16th birthday and the M and S are my initials. Additionally on the door entering the cockpit she has: ”Built by McKinley.”
McKinley soloed a Schweizer 2-33 three times on her 14th birthday with her father flying the tow plane. Then on her 16th birthday she soloed a Piper Pacer that her grandfather and uncle co-own. It is a truly amazing story about a beautiful young lady who has a great interest in aviation, not just the flying but in the maintenance aspects also. We certainly need more young people to have the interest and energy that McKinley has.
Board of Directors:
Jim Sparks has been involved in aviation maintenance for more than 30 years and is a licensed A&P. His career began in general aviation and evolved into mostly business aircraft as a mechanic, electrician, and avionics technician. In addition to extensive hands-on, Sparks spent much of his career creating and delivering educational programs for several training organizations and served as a technical representative for an offshore manufacturer of executive jets.
Currently, he directs the maintenance for a private corporation on a fleet that includes several types of business jets, turbine helicopters, and light single engine aircraft.
Sparks takes an active role in the industry and is a member of the NBAA Maintenance Committee and the Honeywell operator board. This is in addition to serving as a board member of the AMTSociety plus being an active participant of the FAA Safety Team (FAAST).
State of AMTSociety Address Advisory Circular No. 65-25E has been implemented, effective June 3, 2009, when it was signed by John M. Allen, Director, Flight Standards Service. There are many...