Youth Summer Aviation Program

On August 12, 2010, the Chicago “DODO” Chapter – TAI, in partnership with the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), Lewis University, Mayor Richard M. Daley’s Safe Summer Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) initiative and other partners, wrapped up our three phase Youth Aviation Summer Program. Serving over 200 students from Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods, this next generation received introductory aviation and flight & operations safety instruction, airport and aviation careers briefings, life skills counseling, and attended motivational lectures on: overcoming adversity, the value of education, and conflict management.

During phase I of the program

Twenty (20) Students) – This portion of the program consisted of a week long Aviation Careers Education (ACE) Academy conducted in-residence, at Lewis University in Romeoville Illinois. The 20 graduates of this phase of the program formed the student leadership cadre for the follow-on portions of the program.

ACE Academy events included:

• Flight Safety Classes and interaction with aviation professionals

• Orientation flights for each student in single engine aircraft

• Tour of Midway Airport & Air Traffic Control facilities

• Trip to the EAA Oshkosh Air Show (Wisconsin) AirAdventure

• Q & A discussions with aviation professionals

WWII Era Vets and Chicago Chapter members Milton Williams (left) and Bev Dunjill (right) explained what they did during WWII to students.

During Phase II of the program:

( Fifty (50) Students) – During this portion of the program, the Chicago Chapter and our volunteer Young Eagles pilots, assisted by our student leadership cadre provided this youth cohort a basic 1 day introduction to aviation. The program included a ground orientation to the principles of flight, an introduction to the aircraft’s systems and controls, and an introductory flight where each participant was able to experience the joy and excitement of flight first-hand. The goal of this phase of the YASP was to provide a hands-on introduction for this entire cohort to the field of aviation and prepare them for phase III of the program.

Phase III 2010 Summer Aviation Program Highlights

One hundred & fifty (150) Students) – The final portion of the program consisted of a week long Airport Operations phase. Volunteers from the chapter and community facilitated the various events described below at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

Welcome Briefing from O’Hare Airport Managing Deputy Commissioner

Orientation & Safety Briefing – Assistant Commissioner of Flightside Operations

Walkthrough tour of the Skilled Trades Building

Airfield Tour; Airport Lab tour; AMC Snow Equipment; 747 Aircraft Tour – United Airlines Main hanger – UAL Maintenance Crew

Briefing and Q&A: Air Traffic Controller Career Field – FAA Air Traffic Controller representative

Briefing and Q&A: on Airport Engineering and Construction Career Field – Operations personnel

Briefing and Q&A: on Airport Fire Rescue Career Field and tour at Rescue 1 station – Chicago Fire Department personnel

Briefing: General Aviation / Fixed Base Operator Careers – Signature Flight Support FBO

Briefing and Q&A: on Airport Administration and Finances – Airport Management representative

Briefing and Q&A: on Aerospace Education opportunities – Lewis University Student Pilot

Briefing and Q&A: on History of African Americans in Aviation – Tuskegee Airmen Mentorship (topics: TA legacy, life skills, education, chapter programs & assistance). Discussions led by original Tuskegee Airmen and former student member/current role models.

Special Aircraft static Displays:

United Airlines – Boeing 777 – General Aviation Aircraft,

O’Hare Operations snow removal and other special purpose equipment

CFD – Fire Rescue Vehicles

Illinois Army National Guard – Blackhawk.Helicopter

United States Air Force – Monster Truck

Program Accomplishments:

The execution of this phase of the program was deemed a success in that provided over 150 students exposure to the field of aviation and careers in the aerospace industry. They enjoyed hands-on introductory flight training coupled with in-depth, behind the scenes exposure to airport operations at one of the world’s busiest airports.

Program participants were also taught the impact that pioneering international aviators like Eugene Jacques Bullard (French Foreign Legion), Bessie Coleman (Pilot Training-France), Herbert Julian (1st Transatlantic Flight), John Robinson (Ethiopian Air Force) had on international aviation. They learned about the contributions of Cornelius R. Coffey, Willa Brown, Chauncey Spencer, Harold Hurd, Dale White and others as part of Chicago’s claim to have been the nucleus of Black Aviation during the 1920s and 30s. Within this historical context, the students were then taught about America’s first military aviators, the legendary Tuskegee Airmen and their legacy of determination, education, perseverance and patience as necessary skills in achieving success in the face of overwhelming obstacles.

These program success objectives were tied directly to our chapter’s mission statement and the stated goals of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.

Program Partners:

Chicago Airport System

Mayors Office of Special Events

Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy

The Federal Aviation Administration

The United States Air Force

United Airlines

Signature Flight Support

Lewis University

Aerostar Corporation

HMS-Host Corporation (Industry leader and expert in food, beverage and retail operations for specialty travel venues)

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