Northeast Oklahoma high school students soar with aviation program

GROVE, Okla. — High school students in Northeast Oklahoma are taking flight.

Grove Public Schools introduced the program this year at the high school, and students are now using a Redbird LD flight simulator.

It’s part of the state of Oklahoma’s emphasis on aviation in public schools.

The aerospace and defense industry is the second-largest industry in the state.

Students in Grove have been able to use this simulator for about a week.

The school is one of 87 in the state using the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association curriculum.

“It is a replica of a Cessna-172, a G-1000 cockpit, which is the latest and the greatest in the field of aviation now. And, so this allows the kids to go in and train on the aircraft that they’ll be flying the next 10-15-20 years,” said David Roberts, Aviation Instructor.

“I’d love it if more females were to join the class, more people in general. I would like everyone to be able to try this and learn it. I think it’d be great for everyone to learn to fly a plane and land it,” said Amanda Slaton, Grove 10th Grader.

“I kind of felt like I was flying, yeah. It was also a little busy, a little stressful because I didn’t know exactly what I was doing, but I’m learning. It was fun. I liked it,” said Jacob Crawford, Grove 12th Grader.

The program is designed as a four-year course and includes learning about all aspects of the industry, everything from flight attendants to pilots to drone operations.

13 kids are currently enrolled, and the program is expected to grow next year.

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