Two groups have banded together for a common goal to help disabled pilots fly.
EAA Chapter 1083 and John Robinson, the founder of AV84all.org, will build a Zenith CH 750 Cruzer in Salisbury, North Carolina. The EAA chapter members launched the build earlier this month at Rowan County Airport (KRUQ). “When I was first contacted by Zenith about helping John with this special project, I felt it was a great chance to help with one of the most important missions of our chapter—to encourage, educate and promote aviation for all,” said EAA Chapter 1083 President Jack Neubacher.
Robinson said he is excited about what the group project will do for his organization.“EAA Chapter 1083 is literally making a dream come true for AV84all.org,” he said. “Without their help it would take a lot longer to get this project off of the ground and they are making flying for the disabled a reality.” After earning his pilot’s license through Able Flight in 2015, Robinson wanted to continue on the journey of making general aviation accessible for all people with disabilities. He formed the non-profit organization, AV84all.org, and this group build project is the first step in allowing pilots with disabilities to form a flying club with a Zenith aircraft. Other goals for AV84all.org include a ground school, trial flights, flight training, simulator sessions, and more, he said. Charles Stites, the Executive Director of Able Flight, is optimistic about the opportunities this project will establish for people with disabilities in many different areas.
“It’s wonderful to see this project come together, not as an Able Flight project, but as an initiative of someone who has been through our program,” he said. “And it’s especially gratifying that Zenith Aircraft, a company that also supports Able Flight, has generously chosen to work with EAA Chapter 1083 to help make this possible. I am hopeful that the success of this project will inspire similar efforts throughout the country.” Zenith Aircraft will provide an engineering review to help customize this Zenith CH 750 Cruzer to better fit the needs of the pilots with disabilities involved in this project.
“One of the wonderful things about experimental amateur built airplanes is they can be fully customized by the builder to make it one of a kind,” said Sebastien Heintz, owner of Zenith Aircraft. “The new EAA Maker Edition of SolidWorks is a tool that will be used for the customization of the needed hand controls for this group build project. This computer-aided design software offers a huge advantage to the owner/builder/pilot when building their own aircraft, and especially for those who have a specific purpose in mind.”