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The Tailwinds Academy began as Tailwinds Flight School, a privately owned flight school founded in 2018 by Howard Cooper (M.Ed. CFI, AGI) and located at Northeast Philadelphia Airport. Howard is a career educator and certificated flight instructor with over 1500 hours of flying time.

In 2019 Mr. Cooper was approached by Frankford High School in Northeast Philadelphia to discuss the possibility of providing flight training for student in Frankford’s Aviation Academy. The Philadelphia School District subsequently provided funding for 3 students in the inaugural class which began in the Fall of 2022. Frankford High also conducts basic aviation classes starting in the sophomore year as part of larger STEM education.

With this experience and the start of a second class in 2023, Cooper decided to convert his business into a non-profit entity that would make its primary focus young people identified by the school district. The Tailwinds Academy, now fully formed with an experienced Board of Directors and filings with the IRS for 501(c)3 status, plans to expand its outreach to other local schools and work with them to develop these students’ interest and participation in aviation programs.

For more information, contact Howard Cooper
Tailwinds does not currently have charitable, tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”).  
Tailwinds filed IRS Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, with the IRS on November 22, 2023, and our application is currently pending.  
We believe Tailwinds will receive an exemption determination in 2024.  If Tailwinds does receive this determination, its tax-exempt status will be retroactive to its incorporation date of June 22, 2023, which means that gifts made during 2024 will be tax-deductible.  However, until such time as we notify you in writing that Tailwinds has received its Determination Letter from the IRS confirming its charitable, tax-exempt status, you may not take a charitable tax deduction for your gift.  
Thank you for your understanding, and please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.


Additional Office Space ($75,000)
We’ve outgrown our current office/classroom space. There is a large empty space across the hall (approx. 850 sf). The project would include the construction of six small classrooms for one-on-one instruction, large classroom/meeting space and storage.

Hangar Office ($20,000)
We have acquired a small office attached to one of our hangars. With some renovations, it could be used as additional classroom space.

Engine Overhauls ($40,000 – $50,000)
Aircraft engines will need to be overhauled at approximately 2,000 hour intervals. For Tailwinds, that means every 3-4 years. The cost ranges from $40K – $50K depending on the make/model.

Aircraft Purchase (contact us)
We are always looking to grow our fleet of aircraft. Additionally, we have aircraft that were financed which we would like to pay off.

Simulator ($50,000) Panel Upgrades (contact us)
Upgrading aircraft panels is complicated an expensive. Our legacy aircraft are relying on older technology.

For more information, contact Howard Cooper