Gordon Wade knows a thing or two about aviation, and he’d like to share his knowledge with local high school students who might be considering a career in aviation.
At a time when many seniors are preparing for college and underclassmen are looking forward to summer vacation, Wade has scheduled an aviation careers workshop as part of the upcoming Airport Expo at Everett-Stewart Regional Airport.
“I’ve always had a passion for working with teenagers and I’d like to educate them about some of the careers available in the aviation field,” Wade told The Messenger.
The Airport Expo is scheduled for May 18 at the local airport. Wade will host the workshop at 1 p.m. inside his commercial hangar at West Tennessee Aviation.
Wade has 35 years of experience in aviation, as a pilot and a mechanic. He owns and operates West Tennessee Aviation and is actively involved in airport events such as the upcoming expo.
His workshop is free and open to any high school student. The program will begin with a presentation by Wade, who will have at least one airplane and an airplane engine on display.
“We’d like to introduce high school students to potential careers in aviation, whether its in the mechanical field or as a pilot,” Wade said.
Parents of teenagers are welcome to attend the workshop, too.
Wade will be joined at the workshop by experienced pilot and flight instructor Stoney Orton, who is a member of the local airport board, and commercial pilot Ben Hagar.
The workshop will begin with a general introduction to aviation careers and will include break-out sessions focused on flight training, mechanical careers and management opportunities in aviation. Careers in agricultural aviation will also be included as part of the workshop.
“We are very fortunate to have people like Gordon Wade who are willing to help and excited to share some of their aviation knowledge with others,” airport manager Jo Ann Speer said.
Wade’s workshop will include information about the requirements for different aviation careers and helpful advice on how to pursue a career in aviation. There will also be information and help available for those interested in pursuing a career in aviation through the military.
The Airport Expo will open to the public at 11 a.m. May 18 and will continue until 3 p.m. that day. There will be a business expo set up on the grounds as well as airplane displays, a petting zoo, activities for youngsters and food vendors. The airport has scheduled fly-in displays as well as aerobatic demonstrations during the afternoon as part of the expo.
There is no charge to attend the expo, but there will be a fee to go on plane and helicopter rides that will be offered during the event.
“The expo is an opportunity to showcase Everett-Stewart Regional Airport and promote general aviation,” Mrs. Speer said. “It is also a chance for us to share a little bit of the aviation experience with our community. The airport plays an important role in helping to promote industry and business. Our goal is to be a catalyst to help boost the local economy. We have included a business expo” to feature Obion and Weakley county businesses and we’ve had a tremendous response — 22 businesses have registered.”
For more information about the aviation careers workshop, contact Wade at 885-5601, and for more information about the Airport Expo, contact Mrs. Speer at 885-1221.