STEM Students Rebuild Wings of Hope Plane

Fifty middle and high school students from the Lancaster Independent School District in Texas are spending their Saturdays rebuilding a Cessna 182 Wings of Hope delivered to a hangar near the Dallasarea school earlier this fall. This intensive, hands-on STEM challenge was designed by Experience Aviation, a nonprofit founded by Barrington Irving, a recordsetting pilot who joined Wings of Hope’s Honorary Council in 2016. The project is free to the students, who were selected based on their interest in STEM and aviation careers and teacher recommendations. Under the supervision of a mechanic, students will perform airframe and bodywork, remove and overhaul the plane’s engine, put in new aircraft radios, and install a STOL (short take-off and landing) kit to prepare the plane for its use in the field. Students will learn aerodynamic principles, how to apply basics physics to an aircraft system, and quality and safety procedures. At the project’s end in February 2017, the aircraft will return to Wings of Hope for a thorough maintenance and safety check — then it’s off to Nicaragua where it will be used by our partner, Adventist World Aviation, providing medical air transport to people living in remote villages.

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