Area students take flight after completing Fly to Learn Program
By Deidre Ortiz, AEDC/PA
/ Published August 20, 2018
ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. -- A group of Middle Tennessee middle-school students participating in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Aviation Program, sponsored by Arnold Air Force STEM, recently put what they learned into action by flying with the Eagleville Soaring Club.
Before taking to the skies, 10 students from East Middle, South Middle and West Middle schools completed the Fly to Learn software, which is a 10-lesson curriculum using virtual airplanes to simulate flight. As graduates of the aviation program, these students were then able to participate in the glider flights arranged by the ESC.
The students fly in a two-seat glider under the direct supervision of an instructor pilot. They are taken by a tow plane up to 2,000 feet above the ground and released for a 15-20 minute flight in the beautiful sky over Eagleville, Tennessee.
Students who have completed the Aviation Program over the years include middle and high school students from East and West Middle School, Tullahoma; North and South Middle School, Franklin County; and Westwood and Coffee County Middle School, Manchester. The program has also expanded to Murfreesboro schools in recent years.
Eagleville Soaring is a Soaring Society of America (SSA) Chapter Club operation located at Puckett Gliderport. The facility has operated gliders since the 1950s when Garland Pack purchased Army surplus training gliders, or TG-3s, for $15 each and began operations. Numerous pilots have enjoyed learning to soar, including many nationally ranked pilots and a five-time National Open Class Champion. The club caters to those interested in soaring for recreation and specializes in advanced cross-country training for competition-minded pilots. It especially welcomes junior students -- anyone under 30 years old – and offers special rates for juniors and seniors. Operations include lessons and rides.