Exploring the World of Aviation

“As long as I am able, I will always help to make a difference.” These words serve as a personal motto for Chapter IN3 member Bridget Turner. Much like Florida PASS members Anthony Finklea and Doug Lowe earlier this month, Turner helped organize and facilitate an Aviation Career Education (ACE) Academy summer program last week. Held in Indianapolis, Turner volunteered her time to participate in the ACE program, which is intended to have a positive impact on the lives of middle and high school aged students who have career aspirations in aerospace and aviation.

Under the direction of commercial airline pilot Captain Ryan Lynch, the Indianapolis ACE Academy summer program offered students an interactive introduction to the aviation industry and various careers. “It has always been a joy to make a difference in the lives of youth, especially when it comes to introducing them to the world of aviation,” said Turner. “I love working with the ACE Academy, and I learn something new each and every time.”

The two-week summer program revolved around six core areas: airline operations, airport operations, air traffic operations, flight operations, professional development and teambuilding. It was here that students were provided with opportunities, insights and hands-on experience to learn the history of aviation, fundamentals of aerodynamics, the role of government in aviation, pioneers in aviation and the many careers available in the aviation industry.

“I know the importance of giving back,” said Turner. “This is why I want to make sure I use my career to help students and adults grow their passion for the safety of aviation and learn more about the Technical Operations side of aviation.

The agenda for the two weeks exposed students to the world of aviation from start to finish, including visits to local sites and facilities, as well as opportunities to hear from guest speakers in the aviation industry. According to Turner, although the students were engaged in every aspect of the ACE Academy, some of the highlights for the students were undoubtedly the trips to the Wilbur Wright Museum and The Wright Patterson Air Force Museum. Students were also excited to celebrate graduation at the end of the week and, of course, participate in “Flight Line Day,” in which each student actually flew a Cessna.

“When I see the smiles, hear the laughter and listen to the many questions that each student has, I am always impressed by their knowledge, interest and genuine desire to learn,” began Turner. “I see the friendships developing as the students spend time with each other— a bond that I can tell is going to be there for life. The professional connections that the managers and employees extend to the students are unbelievable and it is exciting for students to be able to leave with job and internship opportunities. This is a priceless experience and I encourage everyone to volunteer, participate or help develop outreach programs like the ACE Academy.”

For more information, please visit www.indyace.com.


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