Bassick Students Construct Two-Seat Plane, Await FAA Flight Approval

Bassick students with plane they built.

Things are looking up at Bassick High School in more ways than one: a new school underway as well as student completion of a two-seat plane expected to take flight upon FAA approval.

The new school under construction along the campus of the University of Bridgeport will also house the Bridgeport Military Academy with an August 2025 projected opening. The two schools combined will host 1,250 students at a construction price tag of $129 million, most of the budget covered by the state. 

The building is raised to bring the first floor out of the flood elevation close to Long Island Sound.

Bassick High School under construction along campus of University of Bridgeport.

Bassick is the last among the city’s flagship high schools to undergo a new home or major modern renovations.

The new building will include these programs for Bassick High School and the Bridgeport Military Academy

— Architecture/Engineering Lab
— Aeronautical Tech
— Advanced Manufacturing
— Automotive Repair
— Construction Technologies
— Liberal Arts
— Law Enforcement
— Firefighting
— Emergency Medical Services
— Homeland Security
— Military Sciences

Meanwhile, after nearly three years, Bassick students in the Tango Flight program completed construction of their two-seat plane.

More information from affiliated news release:

The aircraft was escorted to Three Wing Aviation, located at Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Stratford, CT, where it will undergo proper testing to ensure compliance with FAA regulations. The students will be able to fly as passengers in the plane by the end of the school year after an FAA inspector clears the aircraft for flight.

Upon arrival at Three Wing Aviation, the students helped reinstall the wings onto the aircraft, which had been removed for transport.

The Tango Flight program was started thanks to Aaron Hollander, CEO of First Aviation Services Inc.

“I’ve had a love of aviation for my whole life, and I just felt it was a great way to expose the students,” he said. He discovered the Tango Flight program when it was only in a few schools, mostly magnet schools and STEM programs. Hollander approached governor’s office with the idea to start the program and with the support of the Bridgeport Board of Education, the program took off.

This is the first Tango Flight program to be started at an inner-city school. Tango Flight provides all the materials, tools, and instructions to build the airplane.

“For me, it doesn’t matter if they go into aviation, I think it is a wonderful career with a tremendous amount of opportunities” Hollander said. “Regardless of what they do, if they can get the exposure and think beyond the borders of Bridgeport, that was my goal.”

“This is a great opportunity for the students,” said auto shop teacher Steve Blume. “When they finish the program, the students get certified in sheet metal, riveting, drilling, all the skills they learned when building this plane. And they can get hired right away with those certificates.”

Tiany Perez was one of the students who worked on the aircraft before graduating in 2023. Thanks to the Tango Flight program, she discovered a love for aviation and then got a job working on the line crew at Three Wing Aviation.

“When I started working at Three Wing, that’s when the aviation world really opened up for me. This is the life I want to live,” Perez said.

During construction of the aircraft, Three Wing was there to assist.

“Three Wing has been a great support, especially Jared,” Hollander said. Jared Gowlis is the Director of Maintenance and Avionics at Three Wing Aviation.

Students in the Tango Flight program have already started constructing a second aircraft which will receive continued support from Three Wing for the students’ dreams to take flight.



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