Thursday, July 22, 2010

Aviation Camp

I told The Girl on our way out to Kent State that going to Aviation Camp would probably be one the of the strangest things we ever did together. Now that it's over, I pretty certain of that fact.

We stayed in the honors dorms at Kent. These are some seriously fancy-pants rooms. Especially when we got to tour the rest of campus and saw how everyone else lived.

Look how high these ceilings are!We had our own bathroom, refrigerator and microwave in our extremely roomy room.
We were introduced to almost all career possibilities in aviation. Piloting, engineering, mechanical, military aviation, commercial aviation, air traffic control, working for the airlines, private ownership, and federal aviation. It was a total immersion in the topic.

We got a behind-the-scenes tour of Cleveland Hopkins Airport. Here we are meeting the director of the airport.
We got to go through doors and into elevators that were restricted.
We toured the Operations Room where they keep an eye on everything happening in the airport.
We also got to go up into the tower, but you are not allowed to take pictures up there.

After the airport we went over to Parker-Hannifin's hangar. Besides serving us a lovely lunch we got to mess around in these fourteen million dollar planes.Including getting to sit in the cockpit.Back at Kent, our lessons continued. In my opinion we got just a bit too much information about Air Traffic Control but three of our four student guides were in the ATC program so that's what they liked to talk about most. Kent State has a very cool Air Traffic Control simulation training room that we got to play in. At one point they separated us into different rooms. I was the pilot and The Girl was the Air Traffic Controller in the other room telling me what to do over the headset.
It was interesting but sitting in the dark all day looking at a blips on a screen is not my cup of tea.

And finally it was the day to go flying. They started us out by making us train with the simulator.
We crashed and burned horribly.

But we still got to go up in the real thing. Here's our plane.

And here's The Girl flying it!

We got to fly over Kent State. The dorm we stayed in us the light gray "L" right smack in the middle.
This whole experience didn't cost us a penny. We submitted an application to attend the camp on a fluke and were accepted. They only took seven mother/daughter sets this year. The eighth girl in this picture was a girl who attended last year and returned as an aide.
So is The Girl all psyched up now to pursue a career in aviation? Actually she learned it's not for her. But that's okay. At least now we know!


Weaver said...

very very cool!!!

me said...

Being in the dark like that is the reason I didn't persue ATC. Then I got my computer degree and worked at GE. And it was always dark AND cold!!

I love the pics, can't wait to show Alex.

Heather said...

I'm still blown away that she got to fly the plane! Way to go, girl!