"Pulsar XP" Homebuilt Experimental Aircraft
October 1st 2011 is a proud day in my organization's history. On this day we traveled to Sanford North Carolina to pick up a Pulsar XP that had been graciously donated to my organization. When we finally arrived in Sanford my heart was pounding and I was extremely anxious to get on the ramp and begin loading the aircraft onto our trailer. The day was beautiful with picture perfect clouds in the sky. I stood on the ramp and took a moment to take it all in, my moment of peace was interrupted by the airport manager who was eager to have the Pulsar removed from his ramp. The airport manager told me the aircraft was in terrible shape and had been sitting on his ramp for over a decade. The Pulsar had been neglected and it's condition allowed to deteriorate. I honestly became upset and sad at the same time, from a distance the aircraft was beautiful but up close you can bare witness to what sitting outside for over a decade on a tie down can do to an aircraft. The rudder was waving back and forth with any little push of the wind and every time it hit the stop there was a loud bang. There were wasp nest everywhere, the canopy had been left open and there was a nice puddle of water located behind the pilot & co-pilot seat. The cables for the rudder pedals had rusted way due to the puddle of water, as I looked forward I noticed the flap lever was engaged, the keys were still in the ignition, and the master switch was left in the ON position. In my mind at that point in time, this was more than just a plane pick up for my organization. This had become a rescue mission, the Pulsar needed a new home with people who could provide it with a lot of TLC. For the next two years I would go on to donate my entire salary to help kids restore this airplane.
June 2012 my organization launched its first annual Discover and Achieve Challenge. Every summer we challenge students in the DMV area to do a project that is Aviation, Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math based. We held our first challenge in Hangar #2 at Reagan National Airport with the help of two A&P and one IA aviation maintenance technicians. I felt that the Pulsar would make a great project for my students, they were exposed to a career in aviation and they learned Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math without realizing it!!!
This is the best on the job training in the world and my students were able to get it for free!!! One of my students enjoyed working on the Pulsar so much, he decided to become an aviation maintenance technician. Initially he didn't want to go to college but after a month of participating in my organization's challenge he registered for classes to become an AMT at the University of the District of Columbia.