A new program at Dynamic Aviation in Bridgewater gets kids out onto the airfield and in the cockpit.
[ambi - plane taxiing]
About 110 students from Shenandoah Valley Academy got a hands-on look at the aviation industry on Wednesday morning. The workshop, put on by the Dynamic Aviation program NEXTGEN Aviators, showed them the ins and outs of both flying a plane and building one.
JESSICA PALACIOS: I had a lot of fun in the first activity we did, where we connected the wires, and we got the run strip to light up, and a lot of fun with the flight simulation.
Jessica Palacios is a senior at the academy. The simulation was also a hit with her friend, Kirsten Wilkens.
WILKENS: It feels realistic. As well as the plane ride, because I got to sit up front.
HAGI: Did you guys crash at all when you were doing the flight simulator?
WILKENS: Yeah, like five times!
PALACIOS: I landed mine and I took off!
The goal of the program is to get kids interested in all sorts of skilled trades. Workshop stations included learning about sheet metal manufacturing and CNC machines.
SHANE COMBS: Today's weather's kind of messing things up so they couldn't actually go fly, but we did high speed taxis with them. They've participated in all of our different maintenance labs, different skill sets … Our aim is to serve all of Virginia and branch out across the nation in an effort to solve the workforce shortage.
Shane Combs is the director of partner relations and marketing.
COMBS: The show is a mobile show. It goes around, we take our village and our aircraft and our people, and we go to where the kids are. The whole idea of this is to prevent cost and burden on the students and the school system.
They currently have workshops scheduled at six different airports in Virginia. For WMRA News, I'm Randi B. Hagi.