The North Shore Aero Club in Dairy Flat hosted a visit recently from Rosmini College students who are in the process of building a high performance microlight.
Under the guidance of physics and earth sciences teacher John Smith, the students are part of the One Step In the Cloud programme, set-up to introduce them to all things aviation.
The programme has been extended to other Auckland schools and involves around 60 students who meet out of school hours to pursue their interest in aviation including building radio-controlled planes.
The microlight project is a first for Rosmini and is expected to be finished around the middle of next year. The two-seater plane is being built for North Shore businessman Steve Williams from a kitset, which includes about 600 parts and 16,000 rivets.
“The visit to the North Shore airfield was a chance for the students to see where a hobby can take them,” Smith said. “As well as inspecting where and how the planes are being built by club members, they all got to go for a flight, which was a real thrill. For many, it was their first time in a light aircraft.”
Smith says constructing the plan is giving the students skills that were once handed down from one generation to the next.
“So many kids spend so much time gaming, they have no idea how to do build anything. They can’t use simple tools, hot glue guns or even scissors, so the project gives them a chance to learn these skills.”