Tuesday, March 25, 2014

To the Airport–Field Trip

This has been the week for field trips for us.  This one has nothing to do with what we’re currently studying, but it was totally cool and very informative.

Our guide was wonderful, and you’d recognize his name right away if I dropped it.   You may recognize him anyway, as he is a dead ringer for his older, famous brother, minus the glasses (wink wink).

We started off looking at aviation maps and learning about flight patterns, no fly zones and the importance of radio communications.

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Then we headed outside to the hangers and air strip.  I learned SO much on this trip!

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Prior to this trip, I did not know that aviation fuel has blue coloring added to it, and even the fuel pump is labeled with blue.  We also learned that with small planes,  the very first thing a pilot does is check his fuel to make sure it doesn’t have water in it.

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Airplane engines are cold natured, so if they are going to be used, the engine is kept warm with blankets and a plug in heater.

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Another interesting fact is that every airport in our state is having weather monitoring stations installed.  This being a small airport, it was last on the list and had just had the weather monitoring station installed earlier in the day before we arrived, the fence wasn’t even finished yet.

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Then we headed into the repair hanger.  This was wonderful!  In addition to how the planes themselves operate, we had a really good impromptu lesson on gravity, thrust, lift and drag.

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Of course, the highlight of the trip was being able to get into the plane.  The kids were allowed to operate the control column and stick, and see how the wings and rudder moves with each operation. 

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Then we moved over to the Cessna and learned some differences between this and the smaller, single engine planes.

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Interestingly enough, we ended our tour with Art showing us where he’d repaired a wing on one of the planes.  What makes it interesting is that the wing was broken during landing…when it hit a deer.  True story.

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