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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 sharing their experiences as well as 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.

STEM education provides knowledge and problem solving skills by focusing on connecting classroom learning to the real world.

“The simulators provide a real-world application of what they are learning in the classroom,” said Maj. Evan Lomeli, 97th Operations Group C-17 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 aircraft, familiarizing them with basic operations. The curriculum was designed to give students a clear understanding of career opportunities in piloting.

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

Students have the opportunity to learn about engineering practices, problem-solving as well as the innovations and technological developments that have made today’s aviation possible.

Stacey Davis, AHS science instructor, explained that 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,” said Davis. “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.”