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Published on March 27th, 2015 |

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Yellow Jacket Flying Club event educates scouts on aviation

The Yellow Jacket Flying Club, the nation’s oldest continuously-operating college-affiliated flying club, is once again hosting an Aviation Merit Badge Clinic for scouts and an “Airport Fun Day” for anyone else fascinated with flying Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport.

Instructor Luca Guidoni, left, leads scouts out to one of the Yellow Jacket Flying Club's Cessna aircraft for their flight training at last fall's event.

Instructor Luca Guidoni, left, leads scouts out to one of the Yellow Jacket Flying Club’s Cessna aircraft for their flight training at last fall’s event.

Founded in 1946 by World War II airmen returning to Georgia Institute of Technology, the Yellow Jacket Flying Club is incorporated as a 501c3 non-profit charitable organization devoted to aviation education and at least twice a year offers a clinic to offer Boy Scouts to earn Aviation Merit Badges and provide aviation awareness to others.

But the Airport Fun Days at what locals affectionately call PDK, is not just for Boy Scouts. Parents, friends and siblings are welcome to fly with the club’s highly-trained instructors in the club’s four Cessna 172 aircraft, providing space is available.

Instructors perform final checks and load scouts on plane for their training flight.

Instructors perform final checks and load scouts on plane for their training flight.

All of the pilots in command of the flights are experienced pilots, with most holding both instructor and ATP certificates. Beyond the flights for the Boy Scout merit badges, TJFC also offers half-hour overflights of downtown Atlanta for $75 per person.

In addition to hosting the Boy Scouts’ Aviation Merit Badge Clinic, the Aviation Fun Day also provides the club with an opportunity promote itself and awareness of aviation, but also to raise funds by providing flying trips to non-scouts. Four planes will be flying at the top of every hour 9 a.m. to noon.

The club has about 200 members at present, with 100 of them being active flyers. The average age of members is 21, with a dozen or so being on

Akshay  Pendharkar and Somil Shah teach scoutsd how to use charts, cockpit and wind calculations during ground operations.

Akshay Pendharkar and Somil Shah teach scoutsd how to use charts, cockpit and wind calculations during ground operations.

the older side, according to Jud Ready, Buckhead resident and chairman of the club’s board of directors.

Ready, who is a professor at Georgia Tech and has credentials at the school that go on and on, usually is in charge of the ground operations during these yearly events. In addition to him, a few of the pilots that routinely are involved also are Buckhead residents.

For these events, the club provides six instructors who have a thousand hours or more of flying time. Most are airline transport pilots. The club has had no fatal accidents since doing these activities beginning in 1946.

Club member Lindsey Sheppard teaches a group of scouts  about planes,l aerodynanics and aviation careers at last fall's event.

Club member Lindsey Sheppard teaches a group of scouts about planes,l aerodynanics and aviation careers at last fall’s event.

“Flight purchase is not required for the Aviation Merit Badge Clinic,” Ready told BuckheadView, “it just makes it a whole lot better.”

Ready explained that the clinic for Boy Scouts “is free and is run continuously/as-needed at various stations from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It should take about an hour to do all of them on the ground and complete the badge,” he added. “Flying is a very fun elective towards getting the merit badge (Requirement: 2a).

Membership in the Georgia Tech affiliated student Yellow Jacket Flying Club is open to all Georgia Tech students, alumni, faculty, staff and their immediate families. Every member who wants to participate in any club activities—general meetings, Airport Fun Days and fly-ins—must pay dues. The dues are $15 for students and $30 for non-students.

The club’s flight fees cover fixed costs of aircraft ownership, including tie-downs, insurance and calendar-based maintenance. The club’s aircraft range from basic trainers to advanced GPS-equipped cross-country aircraft.
The activities on Saturday, March 28, can be found “on the Claremont Ramp” at Dekalb-Peachtree Airport, 1954 Airport Road, Suite 135. For more information, or to see about participating in the events, go to: www.yjfc.org, or call Jud Ready at 404-274-3979.

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