Aviation Explorer Squadron 8
70 Years of Educating Youth About Aviation Careers
Billard Airport Topeka (KTOP) Hangar 15
In the past, Aviation Explorer Post 8 operated primarily out of Hetrick Aviation in a classroom above their maintenance shop. After outgrowing this space in the 1990s, the Explorers began a search and raising funds for a new location.
In 2010, the Explorer Post entered a long-term agreement with the Metropolitan Topeka Transit Authority (MTAA) to acquire, renovate, and occupy Hangar 15 on the north end of the historic airfield. The hangar was renovated over a 6 month period with an estimated $250,000 in donated funds, materials, and labor!
Today, we provide first class experiences to youth in the community with a beautiful classroom, kitchen, conference room, and hangar for both of our aircraft; all in the same building!
N1214T - Piper PA-28-180, Cherokee 180
Our Cherokee 180 offers higher cruise speed and higher gross weight. It allows us to take two extra passengers and to transition into an environment more representative of what our Explorers will find when they one day leave the Post and go out on their own. Even so, they still enjoy the benefits of our monthly pilot meetings and safety lectures. And, of course, they enjoy the security of knowing that their airplane is maintained to the highest standards.
N5335W -Piper PA-28-160, Cherokee 160
Acquired in early 2020, our Cherokee 160 offers a common training platform to the Cherokee 180 which allows seamless transitions between aircraft. 35W is nearly identical to 14T in every way except for a small difference in engine horsepower. A very forgiving aircraft and fun trainer, 35W is a huge addition to our training fleet. Just like 14T, 35W is maintained to the highest standards to provide safe, reliable, and fun training opportunities for many years into the future.