Students built a replica World War II Hardley motorcycle. Pictured from left are Seth Huffman, Brayden Fleming, Logan Ingles, Kade Dillow, Drue Instine, Logan Heiberger, Christian Bowen and Blake Barr.

Submitted photo | Ron Brohm

Urbana has three sites on the famous Aviation Trail that also falls within the National Aviation Heritage Area and the National Park System partnerships. It’s Urbana’s “Triple Crown” of aviation.

Submitted photo | Ron Brohm

Sitting on this World War II Hardley that was restored by local aviation students is local legend Donzil Hall, a Korean War Veteran who served for 33 years as a teacher, athletic director and coach of both baseball and football at Graham High School. In 1973, Hall led Graham’s baseball team to a state championship.

Submitted photo | Ron Brohm

By Ron Brohm

Contributing writer

At the Ohio Hi-Point Career Center, local area high school students participate in the Aviation program located at Urbana’s Grimes Field in Hangar 6.

Here, students learn the principles of flight, navigation, weather, aircraft design and construction.

Those enrolled at the program at Grimes Field also have the opportunity to work with real aircraft at a working airport. Students repair sheet metal, weld, paint, machine, grind, rivet, recover, sew, drill, form, punch, troubleshoot and assemble aircraft parts and components onto real flying aircraft. They also study Flight and Ground operations and even participate in the restoration of an historic WWII B-17 and other vintage aircraft.

Just recently, students worked on a new restoration project.

“Our students built a replica World War II Hardley motorcycle,” said Mark Curtner.

Curtner is the Aviation Instructor for the Hi-Point Career Center’s Aviation program.

“They did a terrific job on this project and took first place at Sinclair Community College in the ‘Tech Prep’ contest,” said Curtner.

In the Aviation program at Grimes Field, students participate in hands-on experiments and restorations such as the WWII Hardley project, use CAD software and 3D printing technology along with training on Aircraft Flight Simulation. They also learn and apply basic aviation maintenance skills, use various construction methods and materials, and study Private Pilot Ground School and Flight Operations.

Additionally, they design and build various aviation parts, components, assemblies and work in a real aircraft repair workshop. Positions in the aviation field pay on average anywhere from $68,000 a year for an aircraft mechanic all the way up to airline captains earning $400,000 to $500,000.

The Champaign Aviation Museum, which is a National Aviation Heritage Site and part of the “Aviation Trail,” is located at Grimes Field and is also an invaluable convenient resource for these aviation students in areas of education, training and volunteer opportunities. At the Champaign Aviation Museum, you’ll get a close-up look at historic aircraft. Many of the warbirds here have been, or are being, restored to even fly again.

Another asset available to students is the Grimes Flying Lab museum, which is also open to the public. Here you will see the Flying Lab – a Beech 18 that served in the Air Force as the C-45. Built in 1952, this C-45H was a valuable tool for Grimes engineers to test and evaluate aircraft exterior lighting systems under various conditions while actually in flight. Grimes Flying Lab is also a member of the National Aviation Heritage Area (NAH) and Aviation Trail.


For more information on this local Aviation program please contact:

Mark A. Curtner

Aviation Instructor

(937) 726-1244

Grimes Airfield – Hangar 6

1636 N. Main St.

Urbana, Oh 43078


Ron Brohm is an Outdoors, Tourism Automotive & Aviation Journalist/Author and writes for the Urbana Daily Citizen and other Aim Media Midwest newspapers and several national magazines. He is also a Certified Parks & Recreation Professional (CPRP), serves as the Park Commissioner for the City of Riverside & is the Executive Director of the Great Ohio Outback Wilderness Regional Authority.

Reach the writer at