Before they go up in the air, the youth would attend a class taught by one of the museum-provided instructors, getting them ready so that they can learn the different dynamics of air travel and take the controls. Hinklin stressed that there are no safety issues and everything is carefully monitored.
Tuition is $250 per student — but it can be an investment in their future. The camp is particularly useful for kids wanting to expand their career choices. For youth that may not go to college but are mechanically inclined, Hinklin noted that the FAA-approved aviation maintenance program at the college is a great option.
“We have one of the best aviation technical schools around,” he said. “We need to promote that and let them be able to hold full sessions out there all the time.
“That’s why I’m doing it, to get these kids up,” he added. “The aviation industry is wide open. It’s a good industry to be in. All it’s going to do is expand. It’s just going to get bigger and bigger.”
Hinklin has made efforts to raise money to help pay for students to attend, and said that those efforts have been successful so far, generating about a thousand dollars. All money will be refunded if the camp is unable to be held.
An aviation camp for kids was becoming a local tradition here until Hinklin was no longer able to go up in the air himself. In order for the idea to soar once more, parents interested need to make arrangements now.
“It sure would (be a shame if the camp had to be canceled),” said Hinklin. “These young kids around here need to be able to go through this camp so they can see what’s out there.”