As Middle Tennessee State University wraps up its seventh annual Introduction to Aviation and Professional Pilot Advanced Camp, 34 middle and high school students have gained valuable hands-on experience in how to aviate, navigate and communicate in what could be a future career.
Coordinated by the MTSU Department of Aerospace, the one-week intensive aviation camp started Monday, June 11, and concluded Friday, June 15, at the MTSU Jean A. Jack Flight Education Center at Murfreesboro Municipal Airport and on the MTSU campus in the Business and Aerospace Building.
Opening activities started Monday morning when campers met with MTSU faculty and staff to learn about flight and aerodynamics. From there, campers broke off into four groups for the duration of the week, where they learned various aspects of aviation.
Camp attendee Nathan Arend came to learn the ropes on becoming a pilot.
“I came here because I wanted to have a general knowledge over all things aviation,” said Arend. “Flying would be my specific field, but it’s better having a wide range of knowledge.”
With 30 hours of nonstop aviation activities planned, the faculty and staff instructed campers on the ins and outs of mechanical flight and the aviation industry.
Some sessions included:
- A one-hour flight to a nearby airport — a half-hour of flight-instruction time and half-hour as a passenger— in the university’s Diamond Star DA-40 glass cockpit aircraft.
- A half-hour of flight instruction in a flight training simulator.
- Three hours of flight instruction in an aircraft desktop training device.
- A half-day experience in the MTSU Air Traffic Control simulation lab.
- A half-day experience in the MTSU aerodynamics lab.
- A half-day experience in the MTSU maintenance lab.
Along with the flight, simulator and lab experiences, students also received ground instruction covering aircraft systems, airport operations and more details.
Associate professor Gail Zlotky, who serves the department as Air Traffic Control program manager, said the students get to do a little bit of everything during the camp. She added that she hopes students learned that there is more to aviation then flying.
“You don’t have to fly planes to be in this field,” said Zlotky. “We want to broaden our students’ perspectives on everything aviation has to offer.”
Five MTSU full-time faculty and staff members conducted the camp, along with four MTSU flight students, to create fun and productive sessions.
For more information about the camp, contact the aerospace department at 615-898-2788 or email Mary Lou Cornett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Keundrea Simpson, student intern (email@example.com)