Smithsonian Celebrates Annual 'Become A Pilot Day' | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

** Airborne 10.29.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 10.29.14 **
** Airborne 10.27.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 10.27.14 **
** Airborne/NBAA2014 10.24.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne/NBAA2014 10.24.14 **

Wed, Jun 20, 2012

Smithsonian Celebrates Annual 'Become A Pilot Day'

C-17 Highlights The Event With Kids At The Controls ... On The Ground Of Course

Officials at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum held the annual "Become a Pilot" family day June 16, in Chantilly, Va. More than 45 aircraft were on display as the museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, including two A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and a C-17 Globemaster III, which had its cargo bay and flight deck opened to the public.

In the C-17 and other aircraft, kids could climb behind the controls, ask questions to experienced pilots and aircrew and learn about what Capt. Anthony Bombaci, of the 305th Air Mobility Wing at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., calls "the best job in the Air Force."

"I really love flying this aircraft," said Bombaci of the C-17. "So I like to share some of the enjoyment I find in my job and hopefully motivate some of the kids (to pursue a career in aviation)."
 
After guiding a young visitor to the pilot's seat, Bombaci smiled. "I wanted this job since I was about his age," he said. "So anytime I get the opportunity to show somebody else what I do, that's awesome." Nothing in the C-17, from the cargo bay to the flight deck, was was off-limits. But while Bombaci's head was on a constant swivel to prevent injuries to visitors and damage to his aircraft, he said he is not worried; his crew has their eyes on everything, while they guided the visitors and answered any inquiries. "We get a lot of really good questions," said Bombaci. "It's a great chance to show people what we do."
 
Bombaci himself is a frequent visitor to the museum, he said, and could spend hours perusing the different aircraft. "I'm like a little kid here," Bombaci said. "Even though I get to do this for a living, I am all-smiles myself, checking it all out."

His feelings were shared by his crew. "Events such as this are one of my favorite things to do," said 1st Lt. David Bishop, the C-17's co-pilot. "It's nice to see people get excited about what I do; it's one of the easiest things to talk about." Bishop hoped that some of his enthusiasm for his profession may inspire future generations.

For Kiron Khashnobisch, 12, the event did just that. "I liked the glass display," said Kiron, speaking of the C-17's heads-up display. "It has different colors and information, and it was really cool."

While Kiron is new to aviation, others his age are already veterans of the flightline: Cadets of the Virginia Civil Air Patrol, clad in battle dress uniforms, assisted with flight-line security for the parked aircraft. "Today's events provide the cadets a good experience of working with aircraft," said CAP 2nd Lt. Iain Ronis, of the Leesburg Composite Squadron in Leesburg, Va. "What they get to experience at events like this really exposes them to a wide range of things that other kids typically may only read about -- here they get to go out to see, do, touch and feel aviation."
 
While the event hosted a wide variety of aircraft, including the U.S. president's VH-3D Sea King helicopter, better known by its call sign "Marine One," the C-17 was by far the biggest aircraft outside the museum's hangar. "The C-17 is hands-down the winner," said Margy Natalie, the museum's docent program manager and event organizer. "Kids and parents love seeing and experiencing the aircraft. It's big and it's cool. The CAP cadets just stopped in awe when they saw it."
 
For Natalie, Become a Pilot Day is one of the best ways to get children interested in aviation and technology. "A lot of people simply don't know what it takes to become a pilot," said Natalie. "With tighter security at airports, they also don't have the opportunity to get up-close and personal with the aircraft and personnel, so we try to highlight and offer all types of aviation whether it's military or civilian -- we have everything."

(Images: Top: Kendall Davis, 7, explores the flight deck of a C-17 Globemaster III. Bottom: 1st Lt. David Bishop explains the heads-up display of a C-17 Globemaster III to Kiron Khashnobish, 12. USAF Photos)

FMI: www.af.mil, http://airandspace.si.edu/udvarhazy/

Advertisement

More News

Airborne 10.29.14: Antares Launch Failure, GAMA Responds, Another 'Roadable'???

Also: Dragon Returns, Quadcopter Flown At Airliner?, Classic Aero-TV: Redhawk, Diesel Flt School Airplanes, WWII Bomber Found The unmanned Antares rocket built by Orbital Science C>[...]

Classic Aero-TV: ‘Have it Your Way!’ – The SPA Panther

A New Single-Seat SportPlane Shows Great Potential For Serious Fun While at the Sport Aviation Expo 2014, ANN CEO and Editor-In-Chief, Jim Campbell stopped by to talk with Dan Wese>[...]

AD: Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes

AD NUMBER: 2014-21-07 PRODUCT: Certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2C10 (Regional Jet Series 700, 701, & 702) airplanes, Model CL-600-2D24 (Regional Jet Series 900) airplanes>[...]

AD: Airbus Airplanes

AD NUMBER: 2014-21-10 PRODUCT: Certain Airbus Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes, and Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes.>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (10.31.14)

Ex-MACs This group is made of retired McDonnell Engineers, most of whom began their careers at MAC either on the F101, F3H or F4H programs.>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2014 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC