Our Story | Young Aviators 43
YOUNG AVIATORS 43
Helping to bring kids into aviation
We are a special group formed by the EAA Chapter 43 for young folks whose interest and passion for aviation goes beyond that of their Young Eagles Flight. Our group gives kids from ages 12-18 the opportunity to be a part of the aviation community on a regular basis and learn more about aircraft and flying. We are always working on an aviation-related project and regularly volunteer in the community at aviation-related events.
We meet twice monthly primarily at RMMA.. Keep an eye on our Events Calendar… We’d love to meet you!
2008 - The Founding Of Young Aviators
A 14-year-old young lady who regularly showed up at monthly Young Eagles events approached a couple of EAA Chapter 43 staff and asked if there was anything else that kids with her interest in aviation could participate in. That question led to the loose formation of a bunch of kids with similar interests to gather once a month in the Serani Hangar and just talk aviation.
Every month, an educational topic was selected and two of the Young Aviators would volunteer to prepare and present that topic at the next monthly gathering. Various speakers were invited from time to time to talk with the kids about some aspect of aviation. Amelia Earhart (9News) talked about her preparation for her around the world flight. Dave Aquilera (Channel 4 Meteorologist) talked about weather as it related to flying. Numerous commercial and military pilots came out to share their experiences.
What started as a loose gathering of kids (not really expected to endure) just kept gathering steam. More and more kids showed up regularly and started to bring their friends who also showed a passion for aviation.
2011 - The KidEZ Takes Shape
The kids wanted to work on a project… They decided that it was a little unfair for younger siblings of kids who got to fly with Young Eagles every month to have to sit there with nothing to do while they watched big brother or big sister go up in an airplane. So they wanted to build a little simulator for those 2-5 year olds that was called the KidEZ – a project that took almost a year of monthly meetings to complete.
The completed KidEZ started making the rounds at various local airshows and STEM events where the YA kids got to share their accomplishment with other kids their age.
2012 - The PVC Simulator Is Designed And Built
With the KidEZ complete, the next obvious question from the group was “why can’t we have a simulator that we can use?” Thus was born the PVC simulator that was a full-motion flight simulator tied together with a computer flight simulator program.
This new PVC simulator now accompanied the KidEZ at those regular local airshows and STEM events.
2013 - The B-25 Is Born
Scott McEwen embarked on a project with his sons back in the early 2000s where they were going to build a treehouse to look and feel like a full-scale front end of a B25 bomber. But life eventually got in the way and it never progressed the way they had envisioned. He learned about our Young Aviators and asked if they would be interested in taking it over. Thus was born Young Aviator’s marquis project – a fully functioning B25 simulator.
2015 - The B25 Makes Its Debut Performance At Oshkosh
When EAA AirVenture learned of the project, the Young Aviators were invited to be an attraction at Kid Venture (a special section at AirVenture devoted to kids activities). Visitors are assembled into groups of 4 kids to become a 4-man crew (pilot, co-pilot, Navigator/Bombardier, and turret gunner) to fly a seven-minute bombing mission over southern Italy during WWII. It was such a success in 2015, the B25 is now the marquis attraction at KidVenture every year since. It also makes regular appearances locally at airshows, Stem events, parades, etc. all over the Denver area.
2019 - The B25 Undergoes A Major Renovation
In 2019, it was decided that the B25 needed real-time visuals to be part of the simulation. Big screen TVs now make that same bombing mission much more realistic to the crew members.