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Chapter president Michael Perez, has been selected as the new president of Build A Plane. He will be the second president in the organizations 20 year history. He succeeds Lyn Freeman, founder and president of the organization. Build A Plane is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting aviation and aerospace by giving young people the opportunity to build real airplanes. Aircraft construction and restoration is not only exciting, but also provides a real-world application for learning science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Build A Plane solicits aircraft donations then re-gifts those aircraft to schools at no charge. Donated aircraft range from the simplest kit planes to larger, multi-engine aircraft. Build A Plane has placed over 400 airplanes in schools and youth aviation clubs throughout the United States and in several other countries. In addition to being a unique and exciting vehicle for STEM education, Build A Plane can jumpstart a strong interest in aviation and aerospace. A surprising number of students who participate in Build A Plane programs go on to pursue higher education to become pilots, engineers, technicians, or any number of aviation/aerospace careers. Build A Plane programs really do make a difference!

Can You Spare an Airplane?

The program began in 2003 and by the end

of last year included more than 100 projects across

the United States, with additional programs in India

and Nigeria. Members of Build A Plane’s advisory

board include Pelton; Burt Rutan, president emeri-

tus of Scaled Composites; Tom Poberezny, president

of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA);

Bruce Landsberg, executive director of the Aircraft

Owners and Pilots Association/Air Safety Foundation

(AOPA/ASF); Peter Bunce, CEO of General Aviation

Manufacturers Association (GAMA); Ed Bolen,

CEO of the National Business Aviation Association

(NBAA); and many others. Still, Freeman says the big-

gest challenge is keeping up with demand for aircraft

donations. Currently Build A Plane has a waiting list

of more than 200 schools across the country.

“One of the most meaningful things people

can do is to donate an aircraft, kit planes, certifi-

cated aircraft, you name it, we’ll find a great home

for it,” Freeman said. Because Build A Plane is 501

(c)(3), donors get a receipt allowing them to make a

tax deduction.

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