Kent Career Tech Center’s Aviation students recently had the unique opportunity to welcome Think Global Flight, a nonprofit flight organization aimed at promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education and green technology, to the Tech Center’s own hanger at Gerald R. Ford International Airport.
Former and current students prepared for the arrival of Think Global’s small red-and-white SR22T as it approached from Chicago. They first ensured the plane’s safety with a FOD (Foreign Object Damage) walk, clearing the runway of debris. Soon after air traffic control confirmed that Think Global had landed, the plane appeared on the runway, saluted by two arcing jets of water from a pair of fire trucks. Tech Center student Ryan Timmers marshaled the plane to a halt in front of the hanger.
Captain Judy Rice, the pilot, and her navigator, Fred Nauer, stepped down out of their cockpit to the applause of the Tech Center students and faculty. They greeted the students briefly, and the students then tugged Think GlobalFlight’s plane into the hanger.
Captain Judy and Nauer shared stories of their experiences as pilots and offered advice to the aspiring pilots and technicians. The students then set to work, performing the post-flight inspections of the plane’s airframe and avionics systems and checking the plane’s oil condition and level.
WZM Channel 13’s Stacia Kalinowski was at the hanger throughout the morning to interview Tech Center students and staff as well as Captain Judy for an education report that aired on the afternoon of May 20.
“We pick the most dedicated ones,” Captain Judy Rice told Kalinowski of her decision to visit the Tech Center students. Rice is a former teacher who decided to become a pilot and fly around the world to promote and inspire aerospace education.