Duo graduates Aviation Challenge in Huntsville
Fairview brothers Caleb and Jacob Seay have a real fascination with aviation. They each recently attended Aviation Challenge at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
The weeklong educational program promotes science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) while training students and adults with hands-on activities and missions based on teamwork, leadership and problem solving.
Two Fairview brothers recently graduated from Aviation Challenge, a program offered at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
Nancy Stephens/The Fairview Observer
Caleb was part of the Aviation Challenge Mach I Program while Jacob attended the Aviation Challenge Mach II Program.
Caleb said he most enjoyed the flight simulator. “You got into a cock pit…you had to turn on the engine, lower the flaps, and you had to take off…and you actually had to shoot people down.”
Beyond the hands-on educational part of the camp, he also learned a valuable life lesson, “You have to have disciplined” to be an aviator, and if you failed to say “Yes, sir” you get into trouble.
Each program was specifically designed for students who have an interest in military aviation and the mechanics of flight. As participants, the boys spent the week training with a team that flew a simulated F-18 fighter jet.
The crew learned critical land- and water-survival skills and mastered Top Gun flying maneuvers.
Older brother Jacob said his favorite part of the program was the dunker lifter. “You had to swim out and then you had to swim to this pole in the middle of a lake.. and it was simulating a helicopter rescue.”
In addition to learning more about aviation, Jacob said he learned, “How to make up a bed so you can flip a quarter off of it.”
Each of the brothers graduated with honors from their respective fighter pilot programs.
Aviation Challenge opened in 1990 and uses fighter pilot training techniques to engage trainees in real-world applications of STEM subjects. As part of the program, students sleep in barracks designed to resemble military bays.
More than 750,000 trainees have graduated from Space Camp and its sister programs since its inception in Huntsville, Alabama in 1982, including STS-131 astronaut Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger, European Space Agency astronaut, Samantha Cristoforetti and NASA Expedition 48 astronaut Dr. Kate Rubins.
For more information, visit www.spacecamp.com/aviation.
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