Teens Taken To New Heights In Aviation Program at Brookley

eyes above the horizon flying cessna

Several teens from all over spent the afternoon at Brookley Aeroplex learning about careers in aviation. And after that, they got to take to the skies for a very special flight.

For some today, it was a brand new experience.

“So your first flight ever…”

“This is my first flight ever.”

“Your first flight ever and guess what? You’re going to be the pilot on your first flight ever.”

“Can’t get better than that!”

Students from Mobile, Atlanta, and even Germany came together to share a love of aviation.

“I’m wanting to be a mechanic, I want to work on airplanes. And so I’m wanting to learn how to fly them too,” says Seth Anderson from Mobile.

“I love flight. And I always wanted to be a pilot. I want to be a fighter pilot, that’s my dream,” says Emari Hill from Atlanta.

“I wanted to come here cause I was always interested in flying. And whenever I flew here from Germany, I had a lot of fun flying so I thought that would be great experience!” says Leigh Gerstenberger from Germany.

This one-day outreach program is designed to expose the youth to STEM and aviation careers.

“So even though our focus is flying and becoming pilots, we also want to introduce them to the maintenance side of it, the engineering side of it,” says CSO Flight Instructor Captain Kenneth Thomas.

Their aim is to expose kids early to their options and not wait until they’re in college or the workforce to realize their passion. And the coolest part about it? These kids got to be pilots for the day.

“We flew up and then all around and we got to see Mobile Bay and a lot of things that I didn’t know we were as close as we were. Saw a lot of things I’d never seen before, it was a neat experience,” says Anderson.

“After you’ve flown a plane, there’s almost nothing that you can tell that kid they can’t do. So when I see these kids after they fly a plane, based on before they flew a plane, they’re kind of nervous, they go and fly—after that, their confidence just goes from here to here!” says Thomas.

At the event, students also learned about the history of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen.

The program is called “Eyes Above the Horizon” and was presented by the Legacy Flight Academy and the Mobile Airport Authority.

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