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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Aviation Career Enrichment Academy Reaches out to AmpliVox with Project 310

Aviation Career Enrichment (ACE) is a non-profit organization established in 1980 that uses the vehicle of flight training to inspire young people to sharpen their academic skills and remain in school.

The ACE academy exposes its participants to the many career opportunities available in the airline/aerospace industry. In addition to offering pilot flight training, ACE continues to offer aerospace career exploration programs that provide exposure to other aviation careers through guest speakers, hands on experience, and field trips.

ACE utilizes a 100% all-volunteer staff for the ACE flight school. A dedicated corps of FAA certified pilots and instructors volunteer to operate the ACE Weekend Academy.

As a result of 30+ years of operation, scores of former ACE students and volunteers are now successful aviation professionals and are among the very small percentage of African Americans and other minority groups working in the airline industry. Graduates of The ACE Academy have gone on to become aerospace engineers, military, corporate and airline pilots, as well as flight instructors and other professionals in the aerospace industry.

ACE graduates stand proudly in front of the new
paint scheme of one of the programs’ “birds”

To better associate the name of ACE with the goals of the organization, the youth focused program recently changed its name from “ACE” to the “The ACE Academy” to represent a school of higher learning for youth.

Less than a year ago, a Twin Cessna 310 was donated to The ACE Academy. Preliminary inspection revealed that the aircraft was well worth accepting, however, it is not airworthy at this time. The Twin Cessna 310 needs an annual inspection, engine/prop overhauls, and a fuel bladder. A lot of restoration questions regarding the 310 have not been answered yet due to lack of capital.

Once The ACE Academy has reached its goal, the program’s vision will be even clearer in determining where the aircraft will receive it’s prop and engine overhauls, interior and exterior work, and instrument panel labor. The program has begun the Aircraft Restoration process by asking 100 Aviators to donate $100.00 to reach an initial capital campaign goal of $10,000. ACE has set a total capital campaign goal amount of $55,000 with a hopeful timeframe of two years to complete “Project 310”.

Up until this point ACE has lacked the ability to offer an option for students to obtain their multi-engine ratings. Once ACE has reached its ultimate goal of donations and the aircraft is airworthy, the C-310 will be used to help ACE students obtain their multi-engine and ATP certifications.

The donation and restoration news of this multi-engine aircraft has brought great enthusiasm and eagerness to The ACE Academy students. Majority of students have even been involved in preliminary washing and cleaning of the aircraft.

The aviation activist behind the restoration process is Fleet Maintenance Manager, Patrick Alexander.

Patrick Alexander, son of Julius Alexander (Founder of ACE) has donated his time to maintaining the rest of the ACE training fleet consisting of two C-172's, and a Piper Comanche 180 for the past three years.

Patrick, a graduate of The ACE Academy and now a Delta Airlines Captain, has helped ACE professionally standardized the ACE fleet with new paint schemes consisting of the organization’s ACE logo on the tails of each aircraft.

Part of the restoration process of the C-310 will eventually unite the same ACE paint scheme/colors with the logo on its tail once organization’s capital has been met.

ACE students flock around Cessna 310 after receiving news of donation and restoration of aircraft

ACE students wash Cessna 310 with
excitement for restoration of aircraft

The ACE Academy is a part of the education industry that sincerely encourages positive values in the lives of youth. AmpliVox is even more inspired by the story behind the ACE organization, Julius Alexander. Julius Alexander began the organization thirty-four years ago at Atlanta’s Price high school to give disadvantaged youth an outlet to their aviation dreams.

In 1970, Alexander wrote a major article for Science Activities Magazine, entitled, “Wings for the Black Ghetto.” The article conveyed the success he experienced in using the aviation class and flying as a tool for academic improvement and self-esteem for the inner city economically deprived students at Atlanta’s Price High School.

Alexander also formed a Civil Air Patrol cadet squadron at Price High School so that younger students who could not participate in the 11th and 12th grade aviation course could learn the disciplines of aviation.

During his tenure as a high school aviation teacher Alexander earned FAA certifications as a ground instructor, commercial pilot, multi-engine pilot, and flight instructor for single and multi-engine airplanes.

On Saturdays, he provided flying lessons for his students who sold candy bars to raise money to pay for the rental of a Cessna 150. Today, two of his former Price High School students from the Carver Homes public housing projects are now captains with US Airways.

Alexander was the first civilian African American flight instructor to train students at Atlanta’s Fulton County Airport (Brown Field). This would later lead to a contract with the National Alliance of Business to design an Aviation Enrichment Program for youths. Alexander led a team that designed Aviation Career Education (ACE) which is widely in use today in ACE camps throughout the U.S. In 1980, he founded Aviation career Enrichment, Inc., a youth motivation program that operates a Weekend Flight Academy for youngsters between the ages of 9 and 18.

CEO & Founder of ACE, Julius Alexander with youth at
Miles Intermediate School Aviation Club in Atlanta.

Thirty-four years later his legacy has been eternally engraved on a pedestal in the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame, and this major milestone has not slackened this aviation pioneer’s initial motives at all. At 77 years old Julius Alexander has recorded over 10,000+ hours of flight and instructing time. Having soloed more than 170 student pilots to date, illustrates his dedication to the field of Aviation.

Julius Alexander with AmpliVox team member and grandson Patrick Alexander, Jr.
who soloed a Cessna 172 on his 16th birthday in 2008.
(Marks 3 generations of pilots for Alexander Family)

It is stories like these that AmpliVox ideally wants to stand behind for the achievement and enrichment of youth in education. Amplivox has been a reputable organization for providing inspiration and encouragement for young people around the world. Aviation Career Enrichments’ restoration “Project 310” is another sensational opportunity for Amplivox to make a difference in the lives of youth. Amplivox is pleased to be identified with such a rare experience and looks forward to joining respectable corporations such as Delta Airlines, NASA, AirTran Airways and Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation in support of ACE’s total capital campaign goal.

We encourage others that view the value of youth education just as much as AmpliVox does to support ACE. Students between the ages of 9 and 18 who are fascinated by airplanes and spaceships, curious about overcoming the natural force of gravity, always wanted to fly into the atmosphere, or want to learn about the extraordinary number of aerospace career fields, AmpliVox encourages you to look into The ACE Academy at flyace.org.