The Western Mass Wright Flight program for high school seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshman is called Aviation II. It is presented each fall over a 7-week period, generally on Saturday mornings. At the completion of the program, students are able to pilot an aircraft on a cross-country flight in the skies of New England under the watchful eye of a Certified Flight Instructor.
Students are introduced to navigation and aerodynamic principles and will actually plot their cross-country course working with other students on their team. The study of radio communication rules and weather, rounds out the pilot program study. One class will focus on the aerodynamic differences between helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. A pilot training textbook is included as a resource for the student.
An introduction to CAD/CAM (computer aided design/manufacturing) with hands-on experience is part of a review of aircraft design. There is a continuous focus on the educational pathways of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) which leads to successful career pathways.
A part of this program includes the student piloting an advanced flight simulator located at Barnes Airport. This will provide experience physically flying and navigation prior to the actual cross-country flight.
A Shadow Program provides students the opportunity to visit local engineering and manufacturing companies such as United Technology Aerospace Systems to observe and talk to engineers about careers in various engineering fields.
Students interested in STEM subjects and pilot careers should give serious consideration to enrolling in this program. This is a hands-on program in which students actually use the skills and knowledge they learn in an interesting and exciting manner. The program also introduces students to the importance of setting goals and developing plans that will enable them to achieve their goals.