Syncro Aircraft Interiors will host its first annual Aviation Career Day to celebrate almost 23 years as one of the innovative leaders in the aircraft refurbishment industry. The event will be held on Saturday, April 15, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the historic Syncro hangar at Van Nuys Airport, 7701 Woodley Avenue (directly across from the Van Nuys FlyAway). Joining Syncro as co-hosts for the event are the Experimental Aircraft Association and the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley. The event is free and open to the public.
Airplane and helicopter pilot Barbara Cesar, president and co-founder of Syncro Aircraft Interiors, created Aviation Career Day to showcase aviation and aerospace career opportunities for young people, and to introduce them to the “gift of flight,” a dream of her late husband, Ed Cesar.
“Ed was introduced to aviation as a 6-year-old, when he flew in a ‘Connie’ (Lockheed Constellation) with his parents. From that moment on, he was hooked on airplanes and flying,” Cesar shared. “As an adult, he became a pilot and an international hang-gliding champion. He won an Academy Award for the short film, “UP,” in 1985. He used to say that Syncro was the only aircraft ‘refurb’ center to ever win an Oscar.”
In 1983, the couple established Syncro to create custom-designed interiors for planes. They started the company with just $200 and a borrowed sewing machine.
“Over time, we found that we had created a niche industry that attracted the major leaders in the aviation and aerospace industry, as well as heads of state, A-list celebrities and other aircraft owners,” Cesar said. “Aviation and hang-gliding were Ed’s passions, as was his desire to offer to young people the same ‘gift of flight’ that he had enjoyed as a youth.”
It was in this spirit that Barbara Cesar established the Ed Cesar Foundation in 2003, which annually underwrites the expense of earning a private pilot’s license for a deserving teenager.
“Aviation Career Day is the second step I’m taking to make Ed’s dreams a reality,” explains Cesar. “The next is to establish an aviation and aerospace museum for children, to let them know that in the aviation industry, the sky really is the limit.”
Aviation Career Day is expected to draw more than 5,000 participants, both adults and children. Cesar said the event, and eventually the museum, are really designed for the benefit of the children.
“Granting them access to an experience many of them have never known is a thrill for me,” she said. “It will broaden their horizons, definitely, and give them a reason for soaring to new heights.”
One of the event highlights will be the opportunity for some participants to fly in Aluminum Overcast, one of only five remaining B-17 bombers still flying. Aluminum Overcast, a completely restored B-17 bomber, was initially delivered to the U.S. Army Air Corps on May 18, 1945. Prepaid passengers and honored guests will fly on as many as eight 30–minute tours during Aviation Career Day.
EAA bought the Aluminum Overcast in 1983, and has lovingly returned the aircraft to its original, legendary form—right down to the tail turret. A $395 per-passenger payment will be required in order to be one of the passengers taking the Flying Fortress on one of the “tours of duty.” Seating will be limited.
During Aviation Career Day, Los Angeles World Airports will host an exhibit booth, and will provide information about two free educational outreach programs for local youth. Applications will be accepted for VNY’s Aviation Career Education Academy, a weeklong summer program offering high school students the opportunity to tour airport facilities and learn about aviation-related trade and professional occupations. The exhibit will also feature information on The New Journal of Student Research Abstracts, a Library of Congress-listed periodical published by VNY and California State University, Northridge. The periodical enables K-12 students to showcase their science fair research projects. Both exhibit programs are designed to inspire students to pursue careers in science, aviation and/or aerospace.
Cesar says LAWA’s contribution to Aviation Career Day, and its emphasis to encourage young people to discover opportunities in aerospace and aviation “honors the legacy of flight in our community, and also complements my own personal goal to create Los Angeles’ first aviation and aerospace museum for children.”
Through its business and subtenants at the Syncro hangar at Van Nuys Airport, Syncro supports approximately 400 aviation and aerospace-related companies in southern California and provides jobs for more than 100 people.
For information on Syncro Aviation Career Day programs, exhibits and event-day flight opportunities, call 818-502-2900. For applications or information regarding the Aviation Career Education Academy, call VNY Public and Community Relations at 818-909-3529 or visit [http://www.lawa/vny.org]. To register for a B-17 flight, call 800-359-6217 or visit [http://www.b17.org].