Bradshaw Build A Plane Center Opens at Flabob Airport

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Build A Plane has joined with the Thomas Wathen Center in Riverside, Calif., to create a permanent facility that allows kids to build real airplanes. The Katrina Bradshaw Memorial BuildAPlane Center is outfitted as a complete A&P facility providing tooling and materials to build and restore aircraft. The Center is named after the late Katrina Bradshaw, formerly the executive director of BuildAPlane. Sixteen kids from around Los Angeles have already signed up to restore an early Stinson 108. “We’re hoping to get the first airplane done by the end of August,” said Gregg Landolt, Wathen Center Director of Programs and Education. 

The kids are supervised by an IA and two A&P mechanics. Other volunteers from Historic Flabob Airport also donate their time. All hours spent on aircraft restoration are carefully logged by the kids with the ultimate goal of earning their Airframe and Powerplant certificates. When this Stinson 108 is completed, many of the same kids will use it to learn to fly thanks to generous grants provided by the Tom Wathen Center. “We want to get this airplane done, and then we have another one ready to go right after that,” Landolt said. The Katrina Bradshaw Memorial BuildAPlane Center is expected to expand in coming months to serve more kids and service more airplanes.  The Center was funded entirely by private donations. BuildAPlane is a non-profit organization now in its 10th year of operation, and is responsible for more than 200 aircraft building and restoration projects across the United States.