Leesburg, FL’s EAA Chapter is attracting future aviators and having fun

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Leesburg EAA Chapter Teaches Kids to Work on Airplanes

Inviting local youth to EAA plane workshop is GOOD

Getting future aviators involved early

Members look like they’re having fun, too



The Aviation workforce crisis, starting with aviators and working to and through mechanics, has developed a controversial side, but this example shows how basic action—showing love of aviation to our youth—can be effective as well as fun for all involved.



March 25—LEESBURG, FL -- Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 534 recently held an Aviation Youth Saturday workshop at the 
Leesburg International Airport (KLEE).

EAA Chapter 534 operates the Saturday aviation workshops in order to teach young people how to build and repair real experimental 
general aviation aircraft.

( L to R ) EAA Chapter 534 Aviation Youth members Aiden Lowery, Carson Paulsen, Ethan Ratta and Mateo Colmenero prepare to work on the Mini Max aircraft engine.

"The idea behind this program is to kindle an interest in aviation for these young folks so that one day they may want to become 
pilots themselves or start an aircraft building project of their own," a press release states.

( L to R ) EAA Chapter 534 instructor John Weber shows Aviation Youth members where to find the magneto on the Mini Max engine. Aiden Lowery, Weber, Carson Paulsen and Mateo Colmenero.

The group works with boys and girls ages 10 to 18 who have an interest in learning what makes airplanes fly and general aviation. 
They get the opportunity to learn how to use the tools of the trade and work on several aviation projects that are available in 
the chapter's hangar. They also learn how to repair and build experimental planes under the supervision of certified aircraft 
mechanics and EAA chapter members who have experience with home-built airplanes.

( L to R ) Members of the EAA Chapter 534 Aviation Youth Program Carson Paulson, Ethan Ratta, and Aiden Lowery try to imagine what the Mini Max will be like when completed.

Chapter 534 has been the recipient of a home-built aircraft, a Mini Max, that had been damaged in a tornado. The plane is the 
first one the kids worked on. They will learn how to repair the damaged wings and get its engine fine-tuned and running.

When this project is complete, kids will be able to work on three other aircraft kits that have been donated to EAA Chapter 534.


The smiles on the faces of the youth and of the EAA 534 Members are indicators that this may generate future aviation professionals and that the teachers were having as much fun as their pupils.

It is clear that this chapter has a bunch of enthusiastic activists. Here is an abbreviated list of their activities:












All that activity indicates that 534 has a lot of energy and that likely momentum will likely result in a bunch of pilots and mechanics heading into aviation in 2030 or so—all from Leesburg.




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