Inspiring Future Pilots

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As EAA works to give introductory flights in GA aircraft to another million Young Eagles, other programs around the country also turn to aviation as a source of inspiration for youth. In Naples, Fla., third-graders last week took a tour of the local airport, and pupils who read more than 100 books get to go flying. "It's so neat," teacher Diane Rowe told The Naples News. "The idea is to turn them on to reading outside of the classroom." The airport tour is meant to inspire them further, by showing them the airplanes and terminals up close. Rowe said she hopes at least 40 students will meet the reading challenge in time for this Saturday's flights. In Pensacola, Fla., the National Museum of Naval Aviation introduces sixth-graders to the inside of a jet fighter. "It was exactly like flying in a real plane, except you can crash without dying," 12-year-old student Tuong Nguyen told The Pensacola News-Journal, as she climbed out of the cockpit of a flight simulator. Each year for the last 10 years, 5,000 students have participated in the museum's program, called Flight Adventure Deck. "What we offer is not just a field trip," Woody Woodward, a retired Navy commander and the program director, told the News-Journal. "It's a formal curriculum with the angle of aviation as the motivator." Students learn about gravity, atmosphere, buoyancy, aerodynamics and propulsion, and practice math and science skills.