While the class in aviation that Frank Kelly was taking provides preparation for the Federal Aviation Administration knowledge test, they lacked one essential tool – until Kelly, a high school student built a flight simulator.
The Susitna Valley aviation elective class provides the coursework for private pilot certification. It is abstract to students who are not also taking flying lessons. So Kelly decided to build one, providing a valuable resource for demonstrating navigation, compass errors, and takeoffs and landings.
Kelly told his science teacher, Ed O’Connor, that he could build a computer and had already done so. They were able to obtain the support of local aviation sponsors and obtain high quality compnents – and Kelly set to work.
“I have never worked with a student that seemed less intimidated by obstacles,” O’Connor said of Kelly. “At every frustration, Frank grumbled, but then defined the next task, got to work, then knocked that challenge down.”