Archives‎ > ‎Archives2017‎ > ‎

Aviation Merit Badge

posted Jul 19, 2017, 8:57 AM by Scott Lovell
July 19, 2017
I am planning on putting together an Aviation Merit Badge "clinic" for our troop .  Working with Southwest's Atlanta Maintenance Base Manager, he has offered the use of the hangar as a classroom.  In addition, we will be able to arrange a tour of the control tower the same day.  Looking over the Merit Badge workbook, we may have to stretch a couple of items to make it work, but I don't see it outside the lines.  Here is an outline:

Maintenance Hangar
-Group meet in the parking lot 
-Utilize a classroom or conference room to go over academic portion of the merit badge
 --Aerodynamics, airplane componenents, types of aircraft, aircraft controls, aircraft instruments, aircraft engines, different pilot licenses, aviation job descriptions (pilot, dispatcher, mechanic), build model FPG-9 for later flight. (~2 hours)
-Tour the functioning part of the hangar (~1.5 hours - time goes quickly)
--mechanics will "stop work" and set up stations around an airplane and a spare engine on a stand for small groups of 3-4 to rotate through.  the stations will cover parts of the airplane as well as pre-flight duties/inspections.  The cockpit will be a station as well that I will be at.
--Stores, shipping/receiving, fabrication, etc.
--Test fly our FPG-9s (ground launch and elevated launch)
-Lunch - while there is a small break room we can eat in, the Base Manager stated when they've had groups in before they wash the hangar floor and have a large blanket they lay out for a picnic in the hangar with the big hangar doors open - other options include going to a local restaurant near the airport (Dwarf House is near as is Airport View Restaurant, both "landmarks"). 

Control Tower
-we will all drive over to the control tower which is on the opposit end of the airport (near international terminal) 
--tallest control tower in the United States and Busiest in the world
-controller(s) will great the group and we will have to sign in and go through security
-expect they will show us their classroom and simulator
-we will go to the tower cab and watch the tower in action 
-explanation of what each station in the tower does (clearance delivery, ground control, local control, supervisor) and job description (bonus job description as only 3 are required)

Possible Bonus 
-trying to get in touch with the Airport Fire Department to tour a station and possibly their training facility and/or an inside tour with airport operations

This will be a full day, but i think it will be fun and engaging for the boys and anyone else who wants to come along.  I would like to plan for a weekend day in August, possibly the 12th.  Having a date sooner than later will be helpful.  Some other bullet points:

-everyone will have to sign a waiver to enter the hangar - I will ensure everyone gets a copy and will bring extras, they don't have to be turned in till we get there
-no open toe shoes - no exceptions
-security at the control tower is similar to a court house - metal detector and empty pockets - no knives and no one on the "no-fly" list.  Cameras are OK
-peanut allergies?  Southwest will "cater" the hanger to make sure we have plenty of peanuts, pretzels and some drinks (same stuff as on the plane) - if we have peanut allergies, only pretzels
-this is not restricted to only scouts, parents and siblings are welcome, however, the "classroom" may be a bit much for anyone younger (I'll do my best to keep it engaging) and infants may be a distraction (we will be bringing Danny). 
-I will need a good count about a week to 10 days out
-the Merit Badge calls for pre-flight on a light airplane - we will be doing it on a Boeing 737
-I can help arrange Discovery Flights for interested Scouts at a local flight school - at their own expense (I will have information on those and costs available)
-there are some other safety/security "briefing" items that I will go over with the Scouts at the Hangar the day of - nothing big, just where not to go and what not to touch
-there is a regularly scheduled plane to be in the hangar daily for routing maintenance, however, there is a 2% chance of not having an airplane in the hangar - also, based on the maintenance required, we may or may not be able to power it up (cockpit stuff) or walk under certain parts (fuel tank servicing for example).  This is not expected, but we can't plan for it.

I think I've covered everything.  Please let me know if this is something we want to move forward with/bring to the scouts and see if they are interested in.  Also, any questions, please let me know.  This is my first time trying to organize something like this, so any advice, tips, etc are greatly appreciated.  



A. David Eiser

July 21, 2017
Attached is an outline for the scouts and their parents regarding the Aviation Merit Badge Clinic as well as a waiver everyone must sign before the hangar tour (it is written for school field trips, adults that go should just fill in their own name as the student).  Please let me know if this is ok or if you think it needs more/less information.

Scott Lovell,
Jul 21, 2017, 6:47 PM
Scott Lovell,
Jul 21, 2017, 6:47 PM