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Central student off to EAA air academy

INDEPENDENCE -- Seventeen-year-old Tyler Thompson has been fascinated with aviation since his mother took him on a flight when he was a week old.

Tyler Thompson

Tyler Thompson

July 30, 2013

INDEPENDENCE -- Seventeen-year-old Tyler Thompson has been fascinated with aviation since his mother took him on a flight when he was a week old.

Thompson's deep-rooted commitment to all things aeronautical has paid off in a big way.

Starting Friday, Thompson will take part in the eight-day Experimental Aviation Association Advanced Air Academy in Oshkosh, Wis.

The academy is a highly selective program hosted by the EAA that immerses students ages 16 to 18 in real-world, flight-related activities.

"I'll get to learn how to weld aluminum and fly a helicopter," Thompson said.

Thompson, a Central High School senior, is part of an eight-student group working with EAA Chapter 292 at the Independence State Airport. Since October, the students have been building a Sonex airplane.

"They meet every Saturday from 9 o'clock in the morning till 3:30 in the afternoon," EAA 292 Trustee Bob Schwarzler said. "He had the best work ethic, he didn't miss any time."

EAA 292 sponsored Thompson for the academy, fully funding the $1,200 fee.

In the first three days of the academy, Thompson will get to see the world's largest air show: The annual AirVenture hosts upward of 500,000 aviation enthusiasts and more than 10,000 aircraft.

Thompson will be right at home.

"It's going to be a new experience," Thompson said. "It's going to be really fun."

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