Once again, the awesome staff, graduate students and alumni of Purdue University’s Aviation Technology program delivered a memorable day of fun, excitement and confidence building for our Courageous Fliers. On that beautiful, sunny morning, the Flight1 crew and Courageous Fliers headed to Purdue in the comfortable buses graciously provided by Savoya. The kids were eager to arrive and get right to the aviation tour and their opportunity to fly the state-of-the-art simulators.
Upon arrival, the children and their supportive families met in the Dynamic Flight Lab to have some lunch and get the event started. The Data Lab boasted TV’s with live plane trackers (both in-the-air and in-maintenance), live weather radar, and a live feed of the ramp where the planes were landing and taking off. The kids learned how this room brought together all the important data for flying.
From the Data Lab, everyone excitedly ventured out to begin the aviation tour. At the first stop, there were several, older planes on which the Purdue students got to work. There was also an old helicopter that was a real hit among the kids–they were invited to hop in and check it out! After that, all the kids and their families got the chance to go inside the bigger planes outside as well.
The next stop was the Power Plant Lab where the Purdue students get to test the engines and learn about engine technologies. The young fliers were amazed by how big the engines were! The walkthrough of the Power Plant Lab certainly kept everyone’s attention.
As the group got closer to the Simulator Center, there was one more stop–the hangar. The hanger housed a collection of newer plane models that Purdue’s Aviation students learn from and fly. Many of the kids, not surprisingly, found the barrel-rolling plane to be the best and most exciting.
Upon arrival at the Holleman-Niswonger Simulator Center, the Courageous Fliers rushed to be the first in line! There were two simulators each child got to try, as well as their families. The Flight1 kids had looks of amazement on their faces while flying the simulator planes, getting more confident in their abilities to pilot and land the planes they were flying. The children found their sense of focus and concentration in the simulators. They found confidence in their ability to fly, and wanted to do well in completing the task to land. All were extremely excited about the simulator flight opportunity and, after the thrill ended, were looking forward to coming back and flying again.
On each trip to Purdue, our Courageous Fliers and their families have seen how the program continues to advance. There is always something new and exciting to look forward to on this annual outing and there is an immense feeling of caring and support as the day unfolds. The participants get to feel the amazing experience of flight, which boosts their confidence, strengthens their resolve and enables them to concentrate and complete this exciting and skillful task.
The fine folks in Purdue’s Aviation Program once again showed their support for Flight1 and played a vital role in instilling confidence and the feeling of accomplishment in our Courageous Fliers on this great trip.