Friday, May 27, 2011

California Capital Airshow Gives Hundreds of Local Youth the Experience of a Lifetime – Pilot for a Day

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California Capital Airshow (CCA) and the Auburn Municipal Airport community opened its hearts, arms, and hangar doors this past Saturday in celebration of International Learn to Fly Day.  Inspired by Experimental Aircraft Association’s highly successful Young Eagles program, International Learn to Fly Day is an annual event where aviators from all across the globe share their time and passions with as many young people as possible in order to inspire the next generation to seek greatness. Statistics show that exposure to thrilling experiences, such as this event, expands a youth’s imagination and broadens their outlook on life, as well as their view of the world and its endless opportunities and possibilities.

This past Saturday, dozens of experienced pilots explained the basics of aerodynamics, preflight inspections of the aircraft, and identified the parts that control the airplane. Then over 200 young aviators buckled up and took to the skies for a whole new view of the earth and sky -- most even got a chance to take the controls! The flight lasted approximately 20 minutes and each of the participants will remember this experience for the rest of their life.
As part of the program, each student pilot received a printed ‘Flight Briefing Package’ and a ‘Certificate of First Flight’ including the date, aircraft flown, airport identifier, and pilot’s signature. The pilots were happy to answer questions, share more about flying, and explain the many careers and educational opportunities available in aviation.  In addition, pilots were on hand to discuss and identify the many different types of airplanes that were on the ground and in the air.
Hidden treasures were displayed all around the airport including colorful, unique, vintage, warbird, and experimental aircraft and everyone was welcome to explore. It was a day of family fun with inspirational, educational displays, endless aviation stories, with a BBQ rounding out the day. The event was free, open to the public and organized completely by volunteers. 
“This was truly an amazing event sponsored by the CCA and several dedicated community partners.  The pilots and coordinators for the event were Airshow team managers, local flight instructors, Airshow performers, and volunteers who offered their own private planes to thrill the kids,” said Darcy Brewer, executive director of the California Capital Airshow.  “This was just a small, highly interactive glimpse of the big excitement to come, and the profound dedication of the people involved who organize the California Capital Airshow each September at Mather Airport.  It was one of the most rewarding events that we’ve ever been involved in.  It’s not just about aviation; it’s about the imagination, spark and look on each child’s face as they experienced something truly magical and beyond their wildest dreams.”

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