View from the Perch – March, 2012

We have settled in and are working back at OVO (North Vernon Airport). Being at the airport isn’t quite the advantage I thought it might be. At the high school, there was always the setup and cleanup time which ate into our build time. We probably wasted 20-30 minutes each session just with housekeeping chores. There is less of that! But there are school buses. It takes us about that much time to get to the airport, even though it is less than five miles away. If it isn’t one thing…

We did waste some time getting ready for Open House. We have completed the things we had done temporarily, just to look like a more finished plane. Systems are coming along; fuel system, brakes, and controls are all close to being done. The engine kit is being inventoried. Avionics is yet to come.

I am already preparing for Oshkosh. We will have as many as two dozen people there. Transportation, housing (okay, tents,) and getting everything in order takes some planning. The Patriot Academy is joining us with about ten total students and officers/NCOs. That is going to add another dimension to our presence there, and I welcome it. I hope you can stop by – we should be in Woods 101, straight in from the entrance and well marked. We will have three campsites from Thursday, July 19.

The Patriot Academy plane is on order, and the first kit should be here next week. We started mentor training on the 7 th and the build will start about the 27 th . The work groups will be small (five or six) but there will be almost 100% attendance. We have plenty of mentors, and are trying a different approach on training them. We are using the DVD series from Homebuilt Help, along with other materials. I am pretty impressed with the DVD series, and expect it to help.

It looks like EN-III will be built in New Mexico. I like the idea of having a project start some distance away, just to see how well we are able to communicate and coordinate. This is still a learning curve. The second JCHS project will probably be EN-IV.

It looks like EN-I will be on ConocoPhillips Square (AeroShell to most of us) on Monday. Van’s recognition ceremony is Tuesday morning at Theater in the Woods, and the banquet that evening. Sounds like a good plan. We haven’t finalized how Eagle’s Nest and Van’s Aircraft will present a forum or forums, but there will be coverage of all our projects.

Donations to the projects, the Oshkosh trip, and the RV-1 are gratefully accepted and tax-deductible. See the home page at

Personal note: It is amazing to see the fires burning and building within these student/builders. I find myself inspired, when I thought I was there do to the inspiring. I now realize that all I had to do was strike that first, small spark, because these kids were ready to ignite. It’s not always a predictable response , but often things you didn’t expect. Like the boy who didn’t have enough money for the Oshkosh trip. He bought candy and resold it, making enough for the trip in less than two weeks. Think something like that would inspire you? Find a school, start a project, and find out.

Bob Kelly   Founder and Director, Eagle’s Nest Project

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