Walla Walla University’s aviation faculty recently scheduled a tour for the students of Rogers Elementary. The tour was hosted by two students majoring in aviation technology who are certified flight instructors (CFI).
One of the hosts, junior Walker Snell, explained how the tour consisted of two parts. Students began the tour with the exciting opportunity of watching the airplanes take off. They also got to explore the inside of the airplanes on the ground and ask the CFI’s questions.
The second half of the tour consisted of students participating in a flight simulator, called a Frasca TruFlite. The simulator is a digital replica of a Cessna 172, one of the types of aircraft owned by WWU for student use. All of the same instruments and buttons as a real airplane are included without any movement.
Roger’s students learned how to push the throttle forward and guide it back to control the plane. They were taught basic light techniques by the CFI’s and each had a chance to fly the simulator. Snell explained how the students either wanted to fly it forever or crash the simulator instantly. Though the goal was not to crash, students were allowed to control their simulator experience.
The flight simulator is located in the 13,700 square-foot WWU Flight Center on the grounds of the Walla Walla regional airport. It has been a part of the aviation program since 2008, purchased through grants. It is typically used to practice emergency procedures and has been certified by the FAA for flight training.
Not only is the flight simulator useful for aviation students, it also offers a fun learning experience for elementary students who may be interested in flying someday. Snell’s favorite part of helping host the tour was seeing the kid’s reactions to the simulator. “The moment they lift off in the simulator they get all excited,” Snell described.
Posted on February 2, 2022