WARREN, Vt. (WCAX) 4th grader Abe Alexander does not hide the fact that he wants to be a pilot. He wears a sweatshirt that says “future pilot” on the front.
“It’s kind of crazy to think that we can fly and the science behind all airplanes is pretty amazing,” said Alexander.
He was one 20 students from area schools who applied to take part in the free event. The kids spent the day at the Warren-Sugarbush Airport Sunday where they were able to soar above Washington County in a glider with a certified pilot.
“I was curious what it was going to be like to actually fly an airplane,” said Alexander.
The glider aircraft, which doesn't have an engine, gets pulled up in the air by a tow plane with a 200 foot rope. The glider then detaches and is able to soar free like a bird.
“Gravity pulls the glider down towards the Earth which pulls the wind over the wings which produces lift. That's the most fundamental explanation,” said Tom Anderson who has been flying for over 34 years and is the director of Sugarbush Soaring.
He says the flight experience program takes place once a year and it's a day aimed at sparking interest in science careers for local students.
“This is the coolest type of flying that I can do and is also the coolest teaching I can do,” said Anderson, who feels when it comes to finding a job in aviation, the sky is the limit.
“There is a huge shortage of pilots and maintenance people in the aviation and aerospace industry right now. In the hundreds of thousands predicted in the next 20 years,” said Anderson.
Future jobs is good news for future pilots like Alexander.
“I definitely want to do it again,” said Alexander.
While in the air, the students had a chance to take control of the flight. Sugarbush Soaring plans to host the event again next year.