Build-A-Pilot, Corp. directors, officers, and leaders are volunteers, serve without any compensation, and have sworn to carry out the mission of the organization.
Director and President
Rachel F. Conklin
Having a passion for the mission of the Build-A-Pilot program, Rachel has firsthand experience of the potential for life changing effects after becoming the first recipient of the program. Having received her ASEL certificate in late 2009, she has gone on to fly many different single engine airplanes and currently co-owns a 1946 Aeronca Champ. Her wish is to give the same opportunities to young individuals as were offered to her.
Rachel has a Master’s Degree in Music Performance from Universal of Akron, and has completed coursework for a second Master’s in Arts Administration. She has a Private Pilot ASEL Certificate with tailwheel and high performance sign-off and Commercial Glider rating. Her favorite single engine currently is the L-19 BirdDog and favorite glider is the Glasflugel Libelle.
Director and Treasurer
Richard has served as the treasurer of Build-A-Pilot, Corp. since its inception. Additionally he has has served as the treasurer of EAA Chapter 1280 and currently also serves as the treasurer of EAA Chapter 1611.
Rich holds an ASEL Private certificate.
Larry was President of EAA Chapter 1280 from 2008 until 2017 and is one of the original founding Directors of Build-A-Pilot, Corp. He is currently the Vice President of EAA Chapter 1611.
Larry first started flying gliders in 1992 as a member of Valley Soaring Club and holds a Private Glider rating. He was the proud owner of a Schweizer SGS 1-34R. In 1994 he obtained his Private Pilot ASEL certificate and added tailwheel and high performance signoffs. His first power plane was a Cessna 177B Cardinal Classic and then upgraded to a Cessna Cardinal 177RG. For a period of time, he was also a co-owner of a Cessna 182.
James grew up with aviation in the family with his father being a CFI-G and Private Pilot ASEL. With the high cost of flight training James turned to soaring as an inexpensive way of receiving his pilots license and was grateful for the junior program in the Valley Soaring Club in Middletown NY which reduced the flying costs for youth members and made flying financially viable for just about any budget. James has since received his Private Pilot Glider Certificate which he had received on his 16th birthday. In addition to flying James also enjoys spending time in the shop restoring various classic airplanes including a vintage Schweitzer 1-19 sailplane. The idea of getting youth members into aviation is a life long passion of his. With the higher cost for getting a pilots certificate nowadays the idea of a scholarship program like Build-A-Pilot is a means of providing one kid the realization that they can earn their wings. His goal is to spread the joy of aviation to todays youth and create the aviators of tomorrow.
James has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Worchester Polytechnic Institute. Currently he is working for a Contractor for Pratt and Whitney working on jet engine repairs. As an engineer he is always experimenting with new designs for future concepts of flight. His favorite aircraft is the Boeing Stearman.
Please consider supporting our mission for area youth and the future of aviation by donating here. Build-A-Pilot, Corp. is classified by the IRS as a 501 (c) (3) public charity. All or part of any donation or gift may be tax-deductible as a charitable contribution. Please check with your tax advisor.