High Flyers

At King William High School, Air Force JROTC cadets take to the sky.

Photo by Eugene Campbell / courtesy of King William High School 

As the senior aerospace science instructor for King William High School’s Air Force JROTC program, retired Air Force Col. Daniel McNulty saw an “outside-the-box” opportunity to teach aeronautics to his students. Turns out, it was way outside the box. He took eight students flying with the Virginia Civil Air Patrol.

“I asked them how many had ever flown in their life,” says McNulty, “and only two of them had ever flown. So this was an incredible opportunity for 15-year-olds to not only experience flight, but to literally fly the aircraft themselves.”

Students rode with an instructor pilot, who took off from Chesterfield County Airport in a Cessna 182 then handed the controls over to the student once the aircraft leveled out.

“They were doing basic flight maneuvers,” says McNulty, including shallow turns, climbing, figuring out control surfaces and how the wings work. “And that’s where STEM concepts come into play. Figuring out air speed when you’re about to land—that’s science; that’s technology; that’s math.”

For those eight students, it was also the ride of their lives. KWCPS.K12.Va.us


This article originally appeared in our October 2018 issue.

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