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Technical Advisors:

Vojtech "Joe" Vala  is a former colonel (retired) in the Czechoslovakian Air Force.  He graduated from Czech Air Force Academy as Aeronautical Engineer. Qualified as pilot at Czech military aircraft Zlin-126, Jak-11, Mig-15, Mig-21 and L-29, L-39 military trainers.  Valid Czech pilot license.   He is a gyro pilot and he personally built an ultralight gyrocopter.  

He has lived in the U.S. since 1990 and is now a U.S. citizen.

      FAA Qualifications: PPL with IFR and multi engine ratings, Airframe and Power-plant (A&P) mechanic with FAA Inspection authorization certificate (IA).  For 5 yrs, he worked at the prestigious Andrews Air Force Base which was part of the NAF (Naval Air Facility).

      As a flight engineer he flew everything from L-29 Delfins, L-39 Albatros, UB-200 Beechcraft and Cessna Citations. He also worked as United Nations inspector in Iraq for Iraqis Air Force in 1998.

     Aircraft restoration work includes Aeronca Champion, Navy PT-19 trainer, Zlin 526AFS Acrobat, Taylorcraft 1943 L-2M military version, 1940 Piper J3 Cub and 1946 Taylorcraft BC-12D. Total flying hours 3500.

Shahram "Chuck"  Amirkhanian.    Chuck is an excellent mechanic,  private pilot in single and multi-engine engine land.  He also holds  a commercial/ CFI in rotorcraft helicopter R22.  He has 2000 hrs in airplane/ rotorcraft helicopter/  experimental  gyrocopter.    He is an expert on  Aero-engines.    He personally built 2 gyrocopters, one an ultralight and another an (experimental for which he holds a FAA repairman certificate).   He is a very skilled  aircraft engine mechanic.  In 2013 the FAA recognized him in the FAA Airmen Certification Database.       Retired (20 yr) MD police-officer. 

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of our friend and mentor, Shahram "Chuck" Amirkhanian on Oct. 2021.  

His energy, care of detail and commitment to instruct the high school students was very appreciated.  He became the chief mechanic to the completed airplane and contributed to this STEM program with great effort.  

Rest in peace respected friend and mentor.   Blue Skys.

Under supervision of Joe Vala (IA) they have restored other historic planes including a J3 Cub, a Luscombe 8A and a BC-12D Taylorcraft.

A  You-tube video was produced: “Walt’s 1946 Taylorcraft Second First Flight” about a Piper Taylorcraft plane that had been in a barn for 69 years and they made it fly again 3/14/2015 !!

 Under the supervision of Joe Vala (IA), they will restore this plane.  

  Their moto: "Do it with passion or not at all  !!"

© 2017   DC Youth Aviation - Build a Plane, Inc.

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