AAFB pilots educate aspiring Airmen in flight simulator program

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Miyah Gray
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

In conjunction with Altus Public Schools, instructor pilots from Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma have been educating and training high school students in aviation using X-Plane 11 flight simulators at Altus High School.

Every week throughout the school year, pilots have the opportunity to volunteer to mentor and educate students using the simulators as part of an aviation science, technology, engineering and math curriculum.

“The simulators provide a real-world application of what they are learning in the classroom,” said Maj. Evan Lomeli, 97th Operations Group C-17 Globemaster III chief of standardization and evaluation. “Aviation requires elements from each discipline of STEM, and the simulators provide a fun and engaging platform for the students to apply those academic lessons”

The simulators allow roughly 20 students to practice flying more than 10 different types of airframes, allowing familiarization with basic aircraft operations.

“This program gives students the opportunity to see if they enjoy flying and provides a foundation if they do pursue a career in aviation,” Lomeli said.

Students also have the opportunity to learn about engineering practices and problem-solving, as well as the innovations and technological developments that have made today’s aviation possible. Even if students do not want to fly someday, this class introduces concepts that could lead to interest in a variety of STEM-related fields.

Stacey Davis, AHS science instructor, explained how the simulators provide a chance to inspire the next generation of pilots.

“The students have an opportunity to learn real life situations in a controlled way,” Davis said. “It inspires them and gives them confidence. For some students, it has been the spark to pursue a career as a pilot, and it all starts here in this class.”