Pilot Seeks 100 Teens to Paint His Plane at California Capital Airshow



October 2-4, 2015
California Capital Airshow
Rancho Cordova, California


Ron Cuff, former Navy carrier pilot and co-founder of SafeLaunch is flying his 2000 Cessna 182 from Santa Barbara to the California Capital Airshow at Mather Field this weekend to get a new eclectic, multi-colored paint job. Cuff says with a wry smile, “Other pilots think I’m crazy to let a bunch of wildly enthusiastic kids paint on my airplane, but I think it’s important for a lot of reasons”.

The SafeLaunch mission is to prevent addiction where is begins 90% of the time, with teens. By giving kids a “Preflight” lesson on neuroscience before picking up a paintbrush, they learn something important about their health and how to navigate safely to their futures.

Parents accompanying their children will be invited to win prizes when they play the new “SafeLaunch Jeopardy” game, which challenges their knowledge about the risks of teen drug use while the their kids paint the fuselage. Janet Rowse co-founder and co-pilot explains, “Addiction may not be curable, but everyone needs to know that it IS preventable. Parents still have the most influence on their children’s health and the greatest ability to protect their kids. But they have to know the facts and the science of the teen brain. Like the paint on the plane, the science of addiction needs to stick with the parents and the kids”.

Getting “high” is an excellent idea if you are in an airplane, but getting high on drugs or alcohol is a horrible idea for teens. According to the first director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse Robert Dupont, M.D., “Getting high (on drugs or alcohol) is really just brain poisoning.”

The SafeLaunch addiction prevention plane will be parked near the Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Space and Aviation LaunchPad in the Kids’ Zone. We invite everyone at the airshow to have their picture taken with “521DJ” to show their support for launching youth safely — just like the amazing pilots in the show.