Summer camp – the best time and opportunity to try something new, experience exciting activities, and learn more about future possibilities.
Fly Legacy Aviation flight school, located at Northeast Philadelphia Airport (PNE), offers children and adults a chance to get closer to the world of aviation through its unique summer camps. The Young Pilot Camp, which started three years ago, now attracts children from all over the country for its week-long and weekend sessions. This year Fly Legacy added a one-day Adult +Kid program to allow parents to try this activity with their kids.
Participants' ages range from as young as six to 15-years old. The team at Fly Legacy created fun-filled, educational curriculums that keep the camps of various age groups excited about aviation. At a camp, children study topics including the principles of flight; how airplanes fly; what planes are they made of and their parts; types of airplanes; helicopters; ground and air safety; weather and atmosphere; and basics of aerodynamics.
While the camp primarily takes place in a classroom environment, students do get to spend time outdoors. To learn about aerodynamics, participants make gliders and try flying them outside. When learning about rockets, campers light rockets to see how they propel in the air. They also build structures like bridges to learn the physics behind them.
When it comes to practice, campers have an opportunity to try a desk simulator and a full-motion FAA-approved flight simulator that is also used by professional pilots for training.
The best part of the camp for all the kids is flight day, the day every child has a chance to be a real pilot. During the introductory flight, children are accompanied by experienced pilots, fly in a pilot's seat and control a plane under professional supervision.
The goal of the Young Pilot Camp is to attract more children to careers in aviation by allowing them to experience many aspects of the industry. “Right now, there are a lot of amazing opportunities in this field. There is a huge shortage of pilots, mechanics, and other aviation professionals,” said camp director Alex Souponetsky. “That`s why at this camp we are trying to nourish these dreams, show children their options and help them move forward. The mission of our Young Pilot Camp is to empower young minds to soar with imagination, knowledge, and passion for aviation."
After the camp, children can sign up for flight lessons to become private pilots. Even though anyone can start flying as long as they are able to reach the pedals, flying solo is possible only after reaching the age of 16 and getting a pilot's license at 17. The camp helps children learn more about aviation careers as well, including private, commercial and military pilots, aviation mechanics, traffic controllers and more.