On July 7, 2015 Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter held its orientation for its second Youth Aviation Program entitled “I Believe I Can Fly” at the South County Center in Alexandria, VA. Five of six students who applied for the program were selected to participate.

The students are Jabari Resper (West Potomac High School), Philip Nance (Gunston Middle School), Khari Chase (Lee High School), Michael Freeman (Lee High School) and Rebekah Nance (Thomas Jefferson). The students and their parents attended the orientation that introduced the program requirements, linked them with their assigned mentors, and highlighted the students’ expectations.

The Chapter assigned two mentors (one of whom are aviators) per student; the mentors are responsible for cultivating a professional relationship with their mentee, and monitor their progress in the program. The program consists of two major goals: The immediate short-term goal is to give students the opportunity to get hands-on flight experience, classroom instructions and mentorship. The long-term goal is to expand the program to eligible participants to receive a private pilot certificate. The program utilizes classroom training with academic instructions that inspire math and science with the opportunity to practice what they learn on the flight simulators.

The objective of the program is to use flight instruction as a vehicle to mentor, tutor, and provide role models for young men and women to effect positive change in the community. The program instills discipline and leadership to its participants and teach academic and life skills; the program endeavors to make better leaders and citizens by teaching the discipline required of aviation professionals.

H.J. Aviation provides the flight instructions for the program. Mr. George London is the chief flight instructor; a retired Air Force Colonel and Test Pilot who is a well-qualified flight instructor with civilian flight certificates as a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), Certified Flight Instructor Instruments (CFII) and Multi-Engine Instructor (MEI). The H.J. Aviation School has an eager group of five instructors/mentors consisting of pilots for major corporations and the military. The flight course includes Ground Training, Flight Orientation training and Flying Hours Training. Ground training includes ten classes:

Class 1 Airplanes and Aerodynamics
Class 2 Airplane Instruments, Engines, and Systems
Class 3 Airports, Air Traffic Control, and Airspace
Class 4 FAR's - (FAR Part 1, FAR Part 61, FAR Part 91, & NTSB 830) (FAR/AIM)
Class 5 Airplane Performance and Weight and Balance
Class 6 Aeromedical Factors and Aeronautical Decision Making
Class 7 Aviation Weather& Aviation Weather Services
Class 8 Navigation: Charts, Publications, Flight Computers
Class 9 Navigation Systems
Class 10 Cross-Country Flight Planning

Ground training is conducted on Saturday morning for 10 weeks, and the students practice what they have learned on flight simulators. Flight Orientation training requires the students to fly an airplane—including takeoff, in-flight navigation, and landing; Flight Hours training requires the students to log flight hours that will be used to meet requirements for their pilot certificates. I Believe I Can Fly Program provides costs for Ground Training, Flight Orientation, and 15 of the 40 hours minimum to obtain the students’ pilot certificate.

I Believe I Can Fly Takes Off

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