Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do I need to be an EAA member to attend?
A: No, the workshops are open to anyone interested in learning the skills necessary to build their own aircraft. EAA members do receive a discount.
Q: Can I take more than one workshop at a location on one week-end?
A: You are only able to take one workshop each week-end. Each workshop is a full 2 days in length.
Q: When I complete a course will I be able to do all the related work on my project unassisted?
A: Since each workshop is only 2 days in length, it is impossible to teach you everything you need to know. We do tell you where to get further assistance and we certainly provide you with the confidence necessary to begin your project. The fundamentals are taught and you will need to go home and practice.
Q: How much time is actually spent doing "hands-on" activities?
A: The majority of the workshop time is spent doing "hands-on" activities. Be sure to wear your work clothes. In most courses about 25% of the total time will be spent in lecture and discussion.
Q: What are the hours of the workshops?
A: Registration for the workshop begins promptly at 7:30am on Saturday with the workshops beginning promptly at 08:00am. Saturday's activities are over about 5pm and the hours on Sunday are 8:00am to 3:30pm.
Q: Do I need to bring any tools with me?
A: No, all tools and materials are provided.
Q: Can I purchase materials at the workshops?
A: No, however you will receive a discount sheet from Aircraft Spruce & Specialty that will allow you to order materials at a discount with complimentary shipping.
Q: Will I have time for lunch?
A: Yes, 1 hour is scheduled for lunch each day.
Q: How many people will be in each class?
A: We try to limit class size to an instructor/student ratio of no more than 16 students per instructor. The welding classes are limited to 12 students due to tooling requirements.
Q: How can I find out what hotels are available in the area?
A: Hotel listings can be found in our information packets. www.sportair.org/confirm
Q: I would like to bring my spouse. Is that possible?
A: Yes, we encourage family and friends participation. There is a special discount for additional seats purchased!.
Q: I would like to bring my child. Is that possible?
A: Children 14 or older are allowed to participate when accompanied by a parent that is also registered for the course.
Q: Can I pay for the workshop the day I arrive?
A: No. We must receive payment prior to the workshop. In the past we have experienced a number of "no-shows" from people who have not prepaid. If you need to cancel, a full refund will be provided as long as you notify us at least seven calendar days prior to the workshop.
Q: What if I have to cancel my enrollment?
A: A full refund will be provided as long as you notify us seven calendar days or more prior to the workshop. These workshops are specialized courses with limited attendance to enhance your learning experience. If you cancel within seven calendar days of the workshop a $100 cancellation fee will be assessed. A “no show” will not be entitled to a refund.
Q: How will I know where the workshop is located?
A: Workshop addresses and map locations can be found in our information packets. www.sportair.org/confirm In addition, we will have signs directing you to the workshop.
Q: Is there an organization I can join that consists of other interested aircraft builders?
A: Yes, the Experimental Aircraft Association is an organization comprised of over 170,000 people who are interested in sport aviation. Contact us at www.eaa.org or 1-800-JOINEAA or (1-800-564-6322) for further information.
Q: What about kit manufacturers?
A: A number of kit manufacturers recommend the classes. Several of them send out our literature.
Q: Do I take anything home with me?
A: All courses provide you with a detailed workbook and a certificate of completion. In several courses you will build a small project to take with you.
Q: Do I receive a workbook?
A: Yes, a workbook is provided for each workshop.
Q: Are the instructors volunteers or professionals?
A: All of our instructors have high qualifications. They are professionals in their field and they are compensated for their instruction.
Q: What if I am undecided about building an airplane?
A: We recommend that you take the Fundamentals of Aircraft Building workshop. This workshop will give you "hands-on" experience in all types of aircraft construction.
Q: Can I get credit for IA renewal by attending your workshop?
A: Several FAA district offices have given credit for the workshop. It depends upon the local FSDO.
Q: Will I learn to weld aluminum in the gas welding class?
A: Because of the complexities we do not demonstrate Aluminum Welding
Q: Can I bring my own welding torch?
A: Yes, we encourage you to do this.
Q: What type of covering system is used in the fabric covering class?
A: The Stits Poly-Fiber system is used. However, nitrate and butyrate dope is also discussed.
Q: How much time will be spent vacuum bagging in the composite class?
A: A very limited time is spent on vacuum bagging. The technique is demonstrated and is enough to familiarize you with the procedure.
Q: Do you teach us how to finish a composite airplane?
A: Yes, we discuss all aspects of composite finishing.
Q: What spraying system is used in the Fabric workshop and the composite workshop?
A: Depending on the facility, we may spray some of the fabric coatings. If this is not possible, spraying technique will be covered. We use primarily the HLVP systems (Axis or Graco).
Q: May I bring my own project to the class to work on?
A: We do not encourage people to bring their own project. We have a set curriculum that includes a project that we have designed. If we had separate items to work with it would only create confusion for the rest of the class.
Q: Does the electrical course teach me how to install avionics and antennas?
A: Yes, in addition to basic wiring of the electrical systems.
Q: I’m designing my own aircraft, do any of the workshops cover basic design issues?
A: No, structural design will not be covered in any of the workshops.
Q: Why do you not have the workshops in more locations?
A: The EAA SportAir Workshops are presented as a self sustaining program of the EAA. It is very difficult to find suitable locations. We ship everything we need for the classes in large wooden crates. It is very expensive for us to travel. We try to schedule classes only where we can be assured of a large attendance.
Q: I would like to host a SportAir Workshop. What are the requirements?
A: Finding new facilities are the biggest challenge for this program. EAA is a non-profit organization and the EAA SportAir Workshops are presented as a self sustaining program. It is very expensive for us to take this program on the road. We try to schedule classes only where we can be assured of a large attendance to insure break-even operation.
Minimum facility requirements are as follows:
- Location must be in or close to a sizable metro area
- Forklift rated at 1,000 pounds for loading/unloading large crates
- Enough space to hold at least 4 workshops with 16 students simultaneously
- Adequate lighting
- Bathroom facilities
- Willingness to help grow grassroots aviation
If this sounds like something you could host, we would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-967-5746.