Few things are so international as is the love for aviation. Students, the world over, can expand their horizons, enrich their lives, and find career paths in aviation.
STEM programs such as the "Build a Plane" club and "Discovery Flights" serve to imbue a sense of interest in all students.
Life Inspirations and Transformations....
Day One: NO student background in aviation.
Two years later.... these students have assisted in rebuilding a real airplane. Six out of the thirty students have taken General Aviation Manufacturers Asso. (GAMA) ground school courses, four are taking flying lessons, expecting to solo as FAA certified USA pilots when they turn 16 yrs of age.
That is what exposure to aviation can do to a student.
When you talk about mentoring the young, you can not get better than Joe Vala. .... who graduated from the Czech AF Academy as an Aeronautical Engineer and qualified as a pilot in Zlin-126, Jak-11, Mig 15, Mig 21, and L-29 Delfins, L-39 military trainers. For "assignments" he flew everything from L-39 Albatros, UB-200 Beechcraft and Cessna Citations.
Later for "fun" an Aeronca Champ, Navy PT-19 trainer, Zlin 526AFS Acrobat, Taylorcraft 1943, L-2M military version, Piper Cherokee/140, Piper J3 Cub and a Taylorcraft BC-12D.
When recently interviewed by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the prestigious USA agency that advocates for general aviation, Mr. Vala simply said that it was his intention to "give back" and inspire a new crop of aviators.
With inspiration like this....they should all become reincarnated Lindbergh-s and Earhart-s !!
In 2018, when Joe Vala, pilot, (A&P and IA) and his beautiful and wonderfully supportive wife Milada, went on vacation to the Czech Republic, they met with his aviation friends at his old Czech aviation club, which is named in honor of General Janousek (Czech pilots' Commander in the RAF during WWII in England).
Czech pilot friends asked Joe about his aviation activity
in the Washington D.C. area. He mentioned the 1952 Piper PA-20-135, N2103A "Build a Plane Club" restoration project done with students from British International School of Washington.
Joe is now preparing to complete a news-report for his Czech friends, including pictures and an article for their aviation club web site.
Joe Vala's 1940 Piper J3 Cub is located in the Czech Republic and is at a small private airport, not far from Prague. Last year Joe and his aviation club friends organized two flying events for local students.
One was a "Discovery Flight Day“ for elementary school students and the other, an "Airport Open Day“ for preschool kids. Both events were a great success and we hope that it was the first inspiration into the aviation world.
Joe personally took 18 sightseeing flights for students in his J3 Cub. Afterwards all students received their treasured "Diploma Certificates of their First Flight“.
An aviator's return home....
In 2018 Joe planned and executed several flights above local area, where he was born. His base of operation was a small local private airport near the village, BRTOV. Weather was excellent, with limitless visibility, and it was a joy to see villages, roads, streams and hills.