Words by Elizabeth Gillott | Images by Ryan McGill
Located in Jasper, Sanders Flight Training Center is one of the country’s largest military-to-airline flight training centers. Sanders Aviation guides aspiring aviators to become exceptional pilots for our country.
Jessica Sanders Walker, Vice President of Sanders Aviation and Sanders Flight Training Center, founded Operation Aviation Foundation (OAF). This non-profit organization demonstrates to all children, especially individuals who are underrepresented and in underserved communities, the many careers within the field of aviation.
“When exposed to aviation at a young age, children are more likely to seek it professionally in the future. All it takes is that lightbulb moment when a child sees that this is an attainable career to pursue,” she says. “Our goal is to create a space where children feel welcomed in the aviation world no matter their background, along with recognizing that they can accomplish a career in the field of aviation,”
OAF is hosting their inaugural Aviation Career Education (ACE) Camp from July 12 – 14, the state’s only Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) co-sponsored camp. Over these three days, children aged 12-16 will experience flight simulators and time in the air with aviators.
Each camper must complete the application, have a letter of recommendation from a community leader, and draft a 200-word essay. Community leaders include preachers, teachers, members of Congress, and DHR representatives. The application can be found on OAF’s Facebook page. Deadline to apply is June 15th.
Additionally, volunteers are needed for the camp. Volunteers will assist with activities on the ground and even in the air since every flight during the camp requires a pilot and volunteer on board with the camper.
Sanders Aviation wants to extend a special thank you to all the sponsors and donors who make events such as ACE Camp possible.
ACE Camp and the Aviation Expo are great starting points for prospective aviators. The future of aviation is bright! WL
Visit OAF on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100089978318252