On Tuesday afternoon, September 28, Air Evac Life Team 22 out of Paris, landed at the Russellville High School to speak to Russellville High School Aerospace Engineering students about several aspects of their air ambulance, a Bell 206, that is a Single Engine Turbine (Allison/Rolls Royce 250-C30) helicopter.

Air Evac 22 Pilot David Heinzen spoke to the students about the helicopter’s  components, operations, details about the helicopters engine, an Allison/Rolls Royce 250-C30 and how it operates, the amount of horsepower the engine can produce and the necessary maintenance of the helicopter.

Heinzen also helped answer questions about helicopter flight and discussed a factor that may come into play when in flight, called gyroscopic precession. Students learned that gyroscopic precession is the resultant action or deflection of a spinning object when a force is applied to the object. This action occurs approximately 90° later in the direction of rotation from the point where the force is applied.

During the presentation, Pilot Heinzen was joined by his flight crew, Medic Johnny Barnes and Flight Nurse Andrew Chaffin. Chaffin is also a former Russellville High School student and alumni member of the RHS Class of 2008.

Aerospace Engineering Instructor Jazz Johnston, stated that this is the first year for the Aerospace Engineering course to be offered at the Russellville High School and the course propels students’ learning in the fundamentals of atmospheric and space flight.

Students begin the course with learning about the history of flight, then further their studies into the physics of flying.

Later in the year, students will learn about navigation and next semester, they will begin studying rocketry, the branch of science that deals with rockets, rocket propulsion and the use of rockets.

Aerospace Engineering, also known as rocket science, allows students to explore many aspects of flight. Students will learn basic orbital mechanics using industry-standard software, will bring the concepts to life by designing an airfoil, propulsion system, and rockets and they will also explore robot systems through projects such as remotely operated vehicles.

The Aerospace Engineering course is part of the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) program. The program provides a transformative learning experience for PreK-12 students and teachers across the U.S.

Each PLTW Gateway unit engages students in activities that not only build knowledge and skills in areas including computer science, engineering, and biomedical science, but also empower students to develop essential skills such as problem solving, critical and creative thinking, communication, collaboration, and perseverance.

PLTW creates an engaging classroom environment unlike any other and empowers students to develop and apply in-demand, transportable skills by exploring real-world challenges. Through our pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science, students not only learn technical skills, but also learn to solve problems, think critically and creatively, communicate, and collaborate. PLTW also provides teachers with the training, resources, and support they need to engage students in real-world learning.

Many thanks are given to Instructor Johnston and to the Air Evac 22 crew for allowing River Valley Now to join the presentation.

For more information or to learn more about the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) courses offered at RHS, click the following links below. 



To learn more about Air Evac Life Team, their history, mission and air transports, visit their website at https://lifeteam.net.

The attached photos and the following video were captured on Tuesday afternoon during the presentation.