Inspiring Youth to Fly

The BFC conducts an Airport Field Trip for the Azalea Middle School 8th graders each year to incite interest in entering a career in aviation. Research indicates that, at age 13 -15 is when most pilots got there incentive to fly.  BFC members may also visit the Senior Classes early in the school year to present an overview of jobs available in aviation and answer questions. They also participate in any career presenting program the school conducts and displays aviation career information in the school’s career center.

The Program

Two field trips to an airport are held in one day, 60 students are bused to your airport in the morning and 60 in the afternoon. They are divided into four groups of 15 and rotated through four learning stations. The stations are manned by pilots, promoted to be Aeronautical Instructors for the day, and provide a 25 minute inspirational lesson at each station on one aspect of safely flying an airplane.


The Navigation Station

This learning station is held in a room which seats 15 and whatever else a pilot instructor wants to use to explain the elements of planning a flight and navigating an airplane to an airport about 200 miles away. Students are introduced to flight planning and the shorter time it takes to fly that far rather than drive.


The Preflight Station

This station is at one or two tied down planes where a pilot instructor can explain the components that make planes fly and lead the group through a preflight procedure. Students are encouraged to ask questions and they will oblige. The Touch and Go Station An inside space, like a hangar floor, where a plan of the airport can be displayed and the pilot instructor can explain traffic pattern procedures. Getting the kids to hand fly small planes entering a traffic pattern and following the landing procedures as one of them gives directions as an ATC. This is usually a lot of fun.


The Airport Tour Station

Students meet with a pilot instructor that walks them through an airport tour to point out such items as the automated weather station, taxiway and runway markings etc.

Special Thanks to Warren Glaze for significant contributions to this page

Image credits: Warren Glaze & United Flying Octogenarians