YE Build & Fly participants and completed RC aircraft.

Our Young Eagles Build & Fly Week will be June 12-16, 2023


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Young Eagles Build & Fly Program

The EAA Young Eagles Build and Fly program is an intensive RC model building and flying initiative to introduce youth to aircraft construction and the fundamentals of flight.

This is a modeling “program-in-a-box” designed for EAA chapters to partner with local Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) clubs to engage Young Eagles participants and other youth. The program can either be a follow-up to or lead to an EAA Young Eagles flight and is intended to further their passion for aviation.

The Building

With the help of expert radio control aircraft builders participants will build a balsa wood airplane from a kit. Building a balsa wood kit provides a true hands-on experience and mimics the construction of a full scale aircraft.  The Kadet-40e aircraft that will be built is powered by an electric motor that the students will install and set-up.  Finally, the students will install and tune the radio control system that links the pilot on the ground to the aircraft in flight.

The Flying

YE Build & Fly Participants with RC model flight simulator

With the assistance of experienced radio control pilots, and a system called a “buddy-box” which links the experienced pilot’s radio control transmitter to the student’s transmitter, participants will fly the aircraft that they just built.  During the building phase students will have a chance to develop and hone their RC flying skills on a simulator so that by the time they get to the flying field they will have some flight control experience.

What will the Build and Fly Program look like at Chapter 1361?

The members of Chapter 1361 and the Reno Radio Control Club have decided that a week-long summer camp style experience will provide participants with an intense immersion into the world of aircraft construction and flying.


Two YE Build & Fly participants working on aircraft model.

The building phase of the camp will take place daily between 9 AM and 3 PM during the week of June 12-16. The flying day will be in the morning hours of June 18, Father’s Day.


The building phase will take place in the Reno-Stead Airport Terminal (4895 Texas Avenue, Reno, NV 89506).  The flying phase will take place at the Reno Radio Control Club’s flying site north of Sparks.

Daily Camp Structure at Stead

Each day of the building phase we will be building in the morning and afternoon.  There will also be time for ground school to learn about the science of flight and the components of the airborne radio control system.  Each student will rotate onto the RC flight simulator so that he or she becomes comfortable with flying as the building process proceeds.

The camp will provide light snacks and drinks but lunch must be brought by each student. There are no facilities on the Reno-Stead Airport for purchasing meals nor will there be dedicated refrigeration facilities for storing meals.

Students will work in teams of 2 or 3 to build the major parts of the aircraft (wing, fuselage and tail).  With the guidance of experienced radio control airplane builders, students will use X-Acto knives, small saws, pins, superglue and epoxy to build the plane.  It really will be a student-built plane and will require attention to detail, fine-motor skills, the ability to read instructions and listen closely.

The Flying Day

YE Build & Fly Participants flying RC model with assistance.

Families will arrive at the Reno Radio Control Club’s flying field in the morning of June 18. The building groups of 2 or 3 students will each be assigned to one radio control flight instructor.  Using the “buddy-box” system each student will have an opportunity to fly the airplane.

The Instructors

Between 3 and 6 instructors and supervisors will be present at all times during the building phase at Stead airport.  All of the instructors and supervisors during both the building and flying phases will be volunteers who have each passed the EAA’s Young Eagle Youth Protection Policy training and will be current, active members of either Chapter 1361 or the Reno Radio Control Club.

The Students

YE Build & Fly participant controlling aircraft in flight.

Since this is a hands-on building experience. Safety is of paramount importance. Safety starts with careful instruction but ultimately is something each student must be mindful of as they work with the tools and glues.  Students who cannot be safe will be asked to leave the camp and the parents will be called for an early pickup from the facility.

The Parents

You are welcome to observe the building of the aircraft if you wish. Parent or guardian attendance on June 18 at the RC Flying Facility is required.  During the building phase at the Reno-Stead Terminal building, please make sure that your child arrives between 8:50 and 9:10 each morning and that you pick him or her up between 2:50 and 3:10 each afternoon.  Students should be dropped off on the south (parking lot) side of the Reno-Stead Airport terminal building.  Please take time to sign your child in and out so that an accurate attendance is maintained.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I register my child to participate?

Please fill out and submit the form at the bottom of this page.

How many kids will be able to participate?

Due to the limited apace available and the building process restrictions we will be able to accept a maximum of 10 participants. The minimum number of participants to hold this event will be 3.

When will I know if my child has been selected to participate?

We will be notifying parents not later than May 15th.

Will food and drink will be available during the day’s events?

We are asking that all participants bring an appropriate lunch with them. The event organizers will have light snacks and drinks available during the day (granola bars, cookies, donuts, fruit juice, water and limited soft drinks).

Does my child get to keep the airplane?

No.  The plane and its control system belong to EAA Chapter 1361, Inc.  After the class flying day, arrangements can be made to fly it at the Reno Radio Control Club’s flying field.

What happens if my child for some reason can’t attend a day or two of the camp?

Since your child will be working as part of a team, the building will continue!  If your child misses too many days then her or she might not get enough simulator time to feel comfortable flying the plane.

We already have plans in place for Father’s Day (June 18) and we won’t be able to come to the flying day, is there a make-up day?

Yes.  Members of the Reno Radio Control Club will work with you to find an alternative date.

What if I’m late to pick-up my child?

Just like any other camp, if you’re too late a child watching fee will have to be assessed.  Too late will be after 3:30 PM.

On the Flying Day is it OK to bring the entire family?

Yes.  The Reno Radio Control Club’s flying field is big and can accommodate lots of people.

Is it really free?

Yes, again in 2023. However, future Build & Fly events will probably require a registration fee for the week’s activities.

If my child really enjoys RC flying, what are the next steps he or she can take?

Learning to fly RC is best accomplished under the guidance of members of the Reno Radio Control Club and safest done at their field.  Purchasing your own RC training aircraft will cost between $200 and $300 for everything necessary to fly.

NOTICE: We have decided to close registrations for this year’s Build and Fly Program effective April 10th. The program has become so popular that we have already received more than twice the number of registrations that we can accommodate.

We will be analyzing and ranking the applications and will notify the parents of the Young Eagles chosen to participate by the middle of May. Those not selected will be placed on the Wait List to be called in the event of a cancellation by a selected participant.

We would like to include everyone who applied however, the nature of the program and the room in the facility at our disposal does not permit more than 10 participants.

Chapter 1361 will be continuing the Build & Fly Program in future years and is considering adding a Young Eagles Workshop Session to supplement the Build & Fly learning experience.