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Dublin High School Sophomore Experiences Thrill of Flying in Six Week Aviation Course

September 13, 2017

DUBLIN, CA–Like many high school students, I had no idea what I wanted to do for a career. I have many interests such as art, music, and engineering, but none seemed like a profession I wanted to pursue. Going into the Engineering Academy at Dublin High School has helped me expand my knowledge of different engineering careers and pathways; however, I was still apprehensive about what I wanted to become. Unexpectedly in the middle of my summer, I received an email from Ms. Eugene Chou, the Dublin High Engineering and Design Academy Coordinator, informing me of an opportunity to enroll in a six-week aviation course held by the Patriots Jet Team Foundation (PJTF). Despite my limited knowledge of aviation, I decided to attend the course. Little did I know, but this course is what helped me decide on what career I wanted to pursue for the rest of my life.

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Instructors and Students PJTF, Summer 2017

Over the next six weeks, I learned how to take off and land a plane, how to recognize traffic patterns, how to use flight controls, and much more! Furthermore, I had the opportunity to see, close up, small Cessnas (general aviation aircraft) take off and land on the runway just behind the hangar. The hangar had many unique aircraft, some of which were used during the Cold War era and others obtained from the Ukraine, such as the L-39’s, and also from Poland (a MIG-17).

Additionally, there were many experienced aircraft flyers that came and shared their background and work experience with us; it expanded our knowledge on the diverse types of careers that stem off from aviation. Some of the volunteers that came in were corporate pilots and airline pilots; students working towards getting their private pilot’s license were also present. The best part of the course was flying the simulator for the last hour of class. One of the simulators had six television panels which allowed trainees to have a 180-degree view of the skyline.

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Flying over Byron Airport using simulator

The aerospace and high tech community has vastly revolutionized over the last century. In fact, it is difficult to imagine how life was before the acceptance and usage of airplanes for means of transporting goods and travel. By seeing how technology is advancing, aviation is a good career to consider. Furthermore, the demand for qualified pilots has been rising and will continue to do so. Likewise, Boeing, an aircraft manufacturing company, “[has] showed a need for 637,000 commercial aircraft pilots; 648,000 technicians; and a whopping 839,000 cabin crew members within the next 20 years” (CNN). Besides the high demand for commercial pilots, the thrill and thought of travelling to different places and getting to see the horizon 35,000 feet above the ground everyday is what encourages me to strive to do my best to become an airline pilot.

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Aero L-39 aircraft

“It is great that Dublin High School students were able to participate in the aviation course offered by the Patriot Jet Team Foundation this summer,” said Ms. Eugene Chou. “These courses not only expose students to real career choices but also motivates students to do well in school. By allowing students to see an available career path and the associated academic content, young people can better understand why they are learning the things that they are in school and be encouraged to continue their academic coursework when things get challenging.”

Trying out different programs is a good way to help decide what career pathways interest you. From my experiences with this aviation summer course, I recommend that anyone who is interested or even just mildly curious on a subject, to pursue any fields of interests in order to be exposed to numerous options.

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