NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – If you looked up at the skies Wednesday, you may have spotted a few planes being flown by local school children. That’s right, kids were flying planes Wednesday afternoon in Northampton!
It was quite an exciting day for 16 eighth grade students who came to Northampton Airport and got the opportunity to take control and fly an airplane.
Students from the JFK Middle School in Northampton reached new heights participating in their final activity for the Wright Flight program, flying a plane. Students and their excited and anxious parents spent the morning at the Northampton Airport working with the airport’s flight simulators before the students took turns boarding the aircrafts and flying the planes.
“The Program is designed not necessarily to make pilots out of kids it’s just to get them interested in science and technology it’s just amazing they’re smiling from here to here,” said Wright Flight Coordinator Dan Bergeron.
Students are paired with a certified flight instructor and do a thorough pre-flight inspection of the plane. Then students fly to Turners Falls before they turn around and head back.
“It was awesome. I mean I’ve always wanted to fly a plane my whole life I’ve been really interested in how they work and everything about them so I thought it was pretty cool being able to be in one and fly one,” said Jude Paro of Northampton.
Before students take off they have to complete nine hours of class work and pass an exam. Students not only study the physics and mechanics of flight, but the history of aviation.
“It’s the best when they walk away and they’re like, ‘I want to learn more, like I want to do this. I want to learn, I want to to land that plane next time,'” said Jennifer Hoar, a certified flight instructor.
Many of these lucky students said they enjoyed the program and experience so much, they look forward to enrolling again in high school.