Each year at the EAA's Oshkosh Air Show there are many displays of wonderful aircraft. This year at the 2008 Kidventure tent at Oshkosh the Federal Aviation Administration sponsored a tent dedicated to educating the visitors to the air show about the "other" end of flying... aircraft maintenance.
Through the F.A.A.'s leadership, and with support from within the industry, lifetime experiences were made by kids of all ages. Volunteers at the tent not only showed kids some of the fascinating responsibilities that today's skilled AMTs accomplish on a day to day basis but the kids were encouraged to perform these tasks.
One of the tasks the visitors were allowed to perform first hand was safety wiring. Safety was stressed throughout each task provided at the tent. The safety wire exhibit was provided by the AMTSociety's Maintenance Skills Competition Committee.
Another exciting event for the kids was how electrical pins are connected. With the help of volunteers the F.A.A. Kidventure tent let kids cut lengths of aircraft quality wire, strip the ends and crimp both male & female pins on the ends. This basic skill was a true winner with the kids. All of the material for this task were donated by American Airlines.
This was the first year that the F.A.A. had a tent specifically dedicated to educate and entice kids about aircraft maintenance and by all accounts it was successful. Next year's Kidventure at Oshkosh '09 promises to be even better. If anyone wishes to become a volunteer at next years event please contact AMTA Director Kenneth MacTiernan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Federal Aviation Administration provided a great opportunity for young kids to become better aware of what today's skilled AMTs do to maintain a safe, airworthy aircraft throughout the aviation maintenance community.