Aggie, Aviation, Adventure, “love at first flight,” said Baron.
That’s the flight moniker of Andreas Wesseman , Director of the camp. His love of flying and teaching students, clear for all to see. “He’s in his element, just loves working with youth,” said crewmate Shawn Barstow, aka BW; Bravo Whisky. A 1991 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, he served 27 years as a combat pilot. He’s the Director of the Professional Pilot and Master of Aviation Science programs at Utah State in Logan.
The purpose of the camp was to instill a love of flying in the students and assist them in pursuing a career in aviation. “Each participant will gain an understanding of the process to become a pilot or aviation maintenance technician,” stated the Aggie, aviation, adventure flyer. The classes were held at the Carbon County Regional Airport and the campers were housed at the college in Price. Each student was flown in a two seater airplane, accompanied by a certified instructor.
They were able to fly the plane under supervision.
“I’ve never been in a plane before,” said 14 year old Ryder Norman from Green River.
The cost of the camp was $225.
“I just saw it on Facebook, a scholarship will cover the cost,” he added.
Several scholarships were made available through Gary Straquadine at Utah State University Eastern.
The campers were split into three groups and rotated through three areas of study, flight, maintenance and drones. Each class was approximately 4 hours long. Additional flight training was provided by state of the art flight simulators. Aerodynamics, air traffic control and making your own flight plan, were some of the areas discussed. The campers were treated to a visit from the Civilian Air Patrol and were instructed on how to pursue careers in the military. Using flying as a metaphor, Baron explained the four forces involved in being successful both in life and in aviation. Positive forces: lift and thrust, negative forces: drag and weight.
David Robinson, Aggie Air Flight Director and Aviation Technician, aka Wookie, ran the drone class. He demonstrated how to fly a drone using just hand signals. “You program the drone so it identifies the person as master, then they can control it with their hands,” he explained. Each camper was then given the opportunity to fly the drone. Then they were given their own drones, to take home. After assembly and charging of the batteries they practiced flying their own aircraft, under further instruction from Wookie. “Something beautiful about flying, if we spark one student, it makes it worth it,” concluded Baron.