Tanner Olsen of Sioux Falls had the chance to attend the advanced air academy earlier this summer.Tea’s EAA Chapter 289 sponsored his trip to Oshkosh, Wis., July 27 through Aug. 6. He learned a lot about aviation and met a lot of other people his age from around the country.
“In the workshop, we did a lot of hands on. We learned a lot of practical stuff that they apply in everyday use and you can apply it to aviation,” Olsen said.
For example, they made composites with fiberglass. Olsen made a clipboard in that session. He also made a wing rib in woodworking, a cup in welding and a spark plug holder in sheet metal. They also learned about weight and balance to make sure an airplane is stable before flying.
In addition to the workshop time, they spent time in the classroom and went on flight simulators in the evenings. They got to go up in actual aircraft with pilots and tried some maneuvers.
Another night they built model rockets out of everyday objects like water bottles, string and tape. They used water and a bicycle pump to launch them.
Olsen graduated in 2015 from Sioux Falls Roosevelt High School. Since graduating, he started working full-time for Legacy Aviation in Tea, while taking some general classes at the University Center in Sioux Falls. He started at South Dakota State University in Brookings this fall as an aviation major. He continues to work at the airport.
One day he hopes to work as an airline pilot. With his experience at the air academy, he hopes to one day work with some of the people he met there.
“The most essential piece to the air academy was meeting people all around the country that had the same interest in aviation,” Olsen said.
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