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High School Students Graduate from The Museum of Flight’s First Private Pilot Ground School

SEATTLE – July 10 was graduation day for 50 high school students in The Museum of Flight’s first Private Pilot Ground School. The three-week aeronautical science class was done in partnership with the Museum, Raisbeck Aviation High School, and Puget Sound Skills Center.

High School StudentsAddressing airline industry concerns about future pilot shortages, the course was designed to explore the world of aviation and prepare students for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) private pilot written exam, one of the necessary steps to become a licensed pilot.

Using the high school’s state of the art classroom facilities, two Raisbeck Aviation High School teachers–who are also FAA certified Flight Instructors–facilitated student learning in aerodynamics, aviation weather, navigation, flight planning, and aircraft operations. Students participated in hands-on activities in the Museum’s Aviation Learning Center including pre-flighting a real Cirrus aircraft, completing computer based experiments in the learning laboratory, and flying the advanced flight simulators. The program also integrated field trips to the Restoration Center and Reserve Collection at Paine Field, and the Boeing factory. Guest speakers such as Museum Trustee and retired airline pilot Anne Simpson, KING 5 TV meteorologist/pilot Jeff Renner, and other airline pilots and aviation industry leaders were also invited to speak to the students.

The ground school is one of the many programs the Museum intends to open to high school students to prepare them for aerospace careers, and the first one to take aim at a specific exam required for FAA pilot certification. It is offered for a nominal, $35 registration fee. The students earn academic credit for the course, which is added to their high school transcript as an impressive record for college admissions representatives and future employers.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2015, the independent, non-profit Museum of Flight is one of the largest air and space museums in the world, serving more than 560,000 visitors annually

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