A high school student’s advanced welding and fabrication skills came in handy as he built a viewing stand that will allow people to inspect vintage military aircraft up close.
Giancarlo Kamesch, 17, an Atwater High School senior, built the portable viewing stand for the Castle Air Museum. It can be used by visitors to the museum or by volunteers rebuilding planes in the restoration hangar.
Kamesch spent from November through July building the steps, railings and associated parts of the wheeled ramp, the second such piece of equipment the students have built for the museum.
“I love doing the fabrication,” Kamesch said. “It took at least 80 hours, including some time during the summer.”
Tony Rocha, museum coordinator, said the ramp is being stored for the winter. It was used for the museum’s recent Open Cockpit Days event. The first ramp built for the museum is affixed to the B-25 on display on the grounds.
Kamesch figures he will spend this semester and the spring semester building barbecues. He wants to attend a university and focus on computer engineering.
Sam Meredith, an Atwater High School agriculture instructor who teaches welding and fabrication skills, said considerable engineering and design work is wrapped up in building an airplane ramp. It would have cost at least $3,000 if the work had been done by a professional fabricator. A steel company donated some of the materials.
“It’s quite an undertaking,” Meredith said, “one guy doing the job of several people.”
Rocha hopes to get more ramps built by the AHS students, with the materials paid for by the museum.