Friday, June 29, 2018

Parks College Hosts Aviation Summer Academy This Week

By Carmelo Turdo
Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology hosted over twenty high school juniors and seniors from around the country for the annual Aviation Summer Academy this week. Students checked into their St. Louis University residences on Sunday and toured the Aviation Science facilities on campus. The week's activities included simulator training and flights in the Parks College training aircraft at St. Louis Downtown Airport. The students received instruction and practical experience in navigation and flight planning, aircraft pre-flight inspection, air traffic control, aerodynamics, unmanned flight operations, and aviation industry management. Another Aviation Summer Academy will be held in July.

The Aero Experience is pleased to support programs that encourage the promotion and expansion of Midwest Aviation. Parks College, founded by Oliver Parks as the first federally certified school of aviation in the U.S. in 1927, continues to provide aviation education and flight training in the St. Louis area. We accompanied the students on several activities, with permission from St. Louis University program staff, to highlight some of the week's activities. 

On Monday, students met at the Parks College Center for Aviation Science at St. Louis Downtown Airport to begin flight simulator training and pre-flight inspection procedures of the Diamond training aircraft.      

The Aero Experience joined the Aviation Summer Academy students again Thursday for three activities at St. Louis Downtown Airport. The students visited the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum from 11 a.m. to noon. The museum contains a rich collection of aviation and space memorabilia, aircraft and pilot trainers directly related to the St. Louis and Metro East IL aviation community. The students enjoyed sitting on the refurbished F-4 Phantom II jet cockpit and visiting the Lockheed JetStar business aircraft, once owned by Howard Hughes.

The next stop for the day was a tour of the airport fire department facility, hosted by Firefighter Terry Bowman. The students were given a behind-the-scenes look at the emergency response operations room, crew quarters, and the rescue vehicles in the main bay. Firefighter Bowman opened all of the panels on the Rosenbauer Panther  6X6 Aircraft Rescue Firefighting Vehicle to show the water and foam pumping systems, along with the portable rescue equipment, all designed for use by only one or two firefighters. Response time of less than three minutes, from alarm to spraying an aircraft, are achieved in regular drills. Also featured here is the Mass Casualty Response Team supply trailer available for use by the airport and neighboring fire protection districts. And yes, there is a pole from the second floor to the vehicle bay!

The third activity for the day at the airport took place back at Parks College flight operations, where the fire station tour group members (above) began their short cross-country flights to neighboring airports (the first group was returning from their flights). Parks College Certified Flight Instructors flew the students in the fleet training aircraft, which include the Cirrus SR-20, Piper Seminole, Piper Arrow and Diamond DA-20. Much of the knowledge gained during the week about flight planning, air traffic control, and navigation was synthesized during this flight experience.



The Parks College Aviation Summer Academy provided opportunities for high school junior and senior level students from all over the country to receive a well-rounded introduction to the aviation field. The Aero Experience thanks the staff and those students featured here for allowing us to share this great Midwest Aero experience!