Friday afternoons at Randolph-Macon Academy Middle School just got a little more exciting. Flight instructors Ryan Koch and Mark Kramer P ’19 are bringing the R-MA Flight Program to the Middle School! “We’ve been excited about this for quite some time,” said Koch. “Mark and I went to the Middle School during a mentoring session in the fall to present this club to the kids. It was very well received and they were excited about it.”
The two R-MA Flight Instructors are meeting with the middle schoolers every Friday from 2-4 p.m. “We want to bridge the gap between the Upper School and Middle School as far as aviation is concerned,” said Koch. “This is a great opportunity for the middle school students to see what the students in the upper school have been learning.” The middle schoolers have recognized this opportunity. Fourteen students signed up just one week after the program was announced!
The sixth, seventh, and eighth graders will participate in various activities that are hands-on and interactive, the perfect combination to combat winter boredom! They will learn radio calls, how to navigate, how to fly drones, shoot video with said drones, and even fly one of R-MA’s own Cessna 172s.
It is a club designed to educate students on the art of flight. What makes an airplane fly? What are the physics behind aviation? The science, math, and history? The students will learn this through the gradual process of working with gliders. These are no toys as they possess a three-foot wingspan.
First, they will build their gliders and toss them to observe the balance and aerodynamics of an aircraft. Next, they will install flaps on the tail and wings that are remote-controlled to show the mechanics involved with flying. They eventually progress to installing a motorized propeller on the nose of the glider that will allow the kids to fly the airplane for an extended period of time.
Competitions will take place at the end of the school year, testing the students’ abilities to maneuver their gliders and perform certain tasks involving their operation. This is another great opportunity for our young Yellow Jackets to set a bar and rise to its heights.