Aircraft Builders Cooperative (ABC) Announces a Kickstarter Fundraiser to Buy and Build a Real Plane

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From Dream to Reality - Dragon Fliers want to build a real plane from the ground up to the clouds! Give a buck for luck, more to soar!

Robert Hunt's commitment to his Aircraft Builders Cooperative (ABC) is about to take off with a Kickstarter campaign. Hunt said, "I tried this before with little luck. Then I realized it wasn't luck. Fundraising has to have a good foundation. As a builder/surveyor, I know that a good foundation will hold up a strong building. In this case, a well-laid out fundraiser plan is going to get my builder/pilots a plane and up into the air.

Hunt, a Santa Clara resident, created a cooperative business model in which a small group of individuals (known as the Dragon Fliers or Builder/ Pilots) will donate time to help build a light sport aircraft from a kit. Together since 2013, the Dragon Fliers formed a study group and advanced through ground school. They held off on the flight certification because they are committed to ABC's mission to build their own plane. Then the Builder/ Pilots will log flight time in the plane that they build in preparation for their final check flight with a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) before receiving their sport pilot’s license.

"The build process is closely monitored by experienced mechanics, and receives a Flight Worthiness Certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Association (FAA)," says Hunt, who adds that students’ only financial obligation is a $500 registration fee. We are hoping that interested builder/pilots will pledge their membership directly on the Kickstarter so that we can finance the plane."

In 2015, Hunt launched a fundraiser that didn't raise the funds required for the plane kit. Thinking that the pilots had waited long enough, he offered his builder/pilots a $250 refund even though they hadn't obtained their pilots license. They all refused. They are committed to ABC and are excited by the Kickstarter. They feel Kickstarter will bring them closer to their dreams and to flying in the sky.

Hunt began planning for the next fundraiser. This time, he chose Kickstarter. Hunt says, "For this Kickstarter fundraiser, we prepared for one year. We created a well-thought out campaign that shares our goals, our commitment, our plan, and rewards for donor pledges. We also revised our web site to have only the essential message and used a responsive web design (RWD) so that users can easily view and access information on their cell phones and tablets. We hope to excite the Kickstarter community to join our dreams and help lift us into the sky. Because we feel so confident about this Kickstarter, we are offering 8 more builder/pilot memberships through Kickstarter. We had many people on the waiting list, so we hope they take this opportunity to join and make a direct contribution towards the cost of the plane."

The group of 8 pilots has one woman - Elana Gordon (a mother, patient care coordinator and commercial pilot from Santa Cruz) makes the trip to the San Jose area regularly to participate in the Builder/ Pilot study group. "I have always dreamed of being a pilot and since I started flight training in 2003, I have loved being in the air," she says, "ABC’s co-op structure allows me to engage in a professional training activity that would otherwise be cost-prohibitive. I look forward to getting back into aviation and would like to train to be a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI)."

Among the other builder/pilots, there are 5 veterans, 2 of which served in Iraq and Afghanistan - Raj Singh and Jasdeep Singh. The cooperative consists of a patient care coordinator, bartender, a mechanic, a scientist, and engineers. These builder/pilots joined and remain because of the spirit of cooperativeness and the dreams that they share - the dreams of building a plane just like the first fliers and to fly high into the sky.

ABC's "Dragon Fliers - Build a Real Plane Project" begins June 1, 2016 and lasts 30 days!

About Aircraft Builders Cooperative (ABC)
The mission of ABC is to provide free flight training to our volunteer membership. ABC provides ground school and flight training with a certified flight instructor, access to a training plane, and all the materials and supplies needed to acquire a Sport Pilot's License—all for a nominal registration fee and a contribution of time. More info at

Cousette Copeland, Development Consultant
Ph: (408) 800-7494

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