Ascend Camp members visit Rowan County airport

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 27, 2011

SALISBURY ó The summer camp A.S.C.E.N.D. (Aviation Summer Camp Exploring New Dimensions) was held last week at the Rowan County Airport. A vision of EAA Chapter 1083 and member Jana Brown of Lexington, the idea quickly spread to other members and area non-member aviation enthusiasts alike.
The summer camp was partially made possible through a grant from the Taco Bell Foundation, which helped expand on the original concept.
The weekís classroom activities were based at the EAAgles Nest, the home hangar of the local Sport Aviation group EAA Chapter 1083, and included learning about parts of the airplane, forces of flight, flight controls, alphabet, traffic patterns, instruments, weather and flight planning.
The students really enjoyed the hands-on activities such as how to cover an airplane with fabric as well as riveting aluminum panels. They all got time on the flight simulator and took a field trip to the N.C. Transportation Museum where they had the rare privilege of touring the DC-3 in the restoration process. They also got to go aboard a Falcon jet that landed at the airport and talk to the pilot as well as tour the Citation XLS that flies for Food Lion.
The highlight of the week was a 30-minute Young Eagles flight over Rowan County, during which they were able to take control of the aircraft and experience what it is like to be a pilot. These flights, as well as all the classroom and hands-on demonstration activities, were a volunteer effort by EAA Chapter 1083 members and other members of the local aviation community.
Others who helped make the camp a success included Mac and Donna Forbes and Joyce Wood, who took care of the campers and volunteer meals; Susan Park and Sandra White, who were instrumental in planning and developing the application, parental releases and Informational fliers used in promoting the event; and videographer Christa Thornburg, who donated her time to document the camp.
ěWe also want to thank the Rowan County Airport, Airport Director Thad Howell and Line Supervisor Dusty Mills for their excellent cooperation all weekî Jana Brown added. Mills gave line crew instructions and Howell told of his career choices in aviation.
Larry Macon let the class examine his aerobatic Pitts Special Airplane, ěthe Ride,î and gave an abbreviated demonstration flight.
To cap off the whole week and ěgraduationî ceremony, each participant received a special surprise, a certificate for one hour of professional flight instruction. This can be presented to any area flight school or independent flight instructor of the studentís choice.