This is an annual three-day youth camp hosted at the museum to educate students ages 10-16 in aviation. This program is led by Air Academy ambassador, Dick Tonan, along with his experienced and professional aviation volunteers. Students are taught the principals of flight by constructing a radio control model airplane and concluding their experience with the flight of the models they created. This is a hands-on program to promote interest in science, mathematics and of course, aviation. For more information on Air Academy, please contact Sherry Roepke at 931-455-1974 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Air Academy is funded by the Scot Perry Memorial Scholarship program which was established in 1984. One of the mandates of the charter of the Staggerwing Museum Foundation (currently known as the Beechcraft Heritage Museum) is to “foster, promote and engage in aviation education.” This fund was established by museum founders, Carolyn and Richard Perry in memory of their son Scot, who lost his life in a tragic accident in pursuit of his dream of becoming a pilot. The museum is proud to have this restricted fund to perpetuate Scot’s memory and have the financial resource to educate all of our aviation enthusiasts.
In 2014 the museum incorporated a new division for our King Air enthusiasts. Renowned King Air expert, Tom Clements is our presiding President of the newly established King Air Society (www.kingairsociety.com). Tom is known as the “King” of the Beech King Air. He is the author of the The King Air publication and is a partner in the King Air Academy. Tom has led several symposiums during our Beech Party and hosts many more nationwide.
This is a national Civil Air Patrol (GoCivilAirPatrol.com) program held at the museum. The Southeast Region Glider Academy is led by Colonel Mike Murrell and Captain Sue Martin and partnered with the Soaring Society of America (ssa.org). Twenty cadets are selected from across the country to participate in this ten-day academy. These students are provided with formal classroom instruction on the principals of flight and a hand’s-on instruction in a glider. Many cadets have accomplished their first solo during their Glider Academy participation.
The museum is proud to have Beechcraft experts from all across the country share their unsurpassed knowledge on the Staggerwing and Beech 18. Mike Stanko with Gemco Aviation is our Staggerwing authority. Other Beechcraft experts include, Taigh Ramey, Tom Turner, ABS Air Safety Foundation, Rex Vaughan with Tulsa Aircraft Engines, Blaine Abbott, Covington Aircraft Engines, Butch Card, Card Aviation LLC, and many other professionals from across the nation. Topics include Beechcraft Model 17 and 18 landing gear retraction, radial engine operation, spar and inspection procedures and the broad-based knowledge and experience across all Beechcraft models.
The ABS Maintenance Academy offers regional maintenance seminars across the country and is led by renowned Technical Advisor and Inspector, Bob Ripley. The museum’s Beech Party always features a Bob Ripley ABS Maintenance Service Clinic. The museum has been proud to have hosted past ABS regional clinics. In addition, our Beech Party features an ABS Air Safety Foundation seminar led by Executive Director, Tom Turner and an ABS update given by Executive Director, Whit Hickman.
The museum hosted its first southeastern STOL clinic in 2016. This event began with a Backcountry Aviation’s STOL Tips YouTube series followed by a seminar focused to aircraft types that are not generally considered STOL capable such as the Beech Bonanza or Cessna 182. The seminar catered to the flatlander pilot with a tricycle-gear aircraft who wants to access and explore airstrips have to offer. Instructors, Patrick Romano, Dave Dunteman and Ken Wittekiend presented five hours of ground school and flew with the pilots to implement their new knowledge on KTHA’s 2700’ turf runway.