Museum's education program helps students take their first steps
to become pilots

SEATTLE, July 13, 2015--July 10 was graduation day for 50 high school students in The Museum of Flight's first Private Pilot Ground School. The three-week aeronautical science class was done in partnership with the Museum, Raisbeck Aviation High School, and Puget Sound Skills Center. Addressing airline industry concerns about future pilot shortages, the course was designed to explore the world of aviation and prepare students for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) private pilot written exam, one of the necessary steps to become a licensed pilot.

Using the high school's state of the art classroom facilities, two Raisbeck Aviation High School teachers--who are also FAA certified Flight Instructors--facilitated student learning in aerodynamics, aviation weather, navigation, flight planning, and aircraft operations. Students participated in hands-on activities in the Museum's Aviation Learning Center including pre-flighting a real Cirrus aircraft, completing computer based experiments in the learning laboratory, and flying the advanced flight simulators. The program also integrated field trips to the Restoration Center and Reserve Collection at Paine Field, and the Boeing factory. Guest speakers such as Museum Trustee and retired airline pilot Anne Simpson, KING 5 TV meteorologist/pilot Jeff Renner, and other airline pilots and aviation industry leaders were also invited to speak to the students.

The ground school is one of the many programs the Museum intends to open to high school students to prepare them for aerospace careers, and the first one to take aim at a specific exam required for FAA pilot certification. It is offered for a nominal, $35 registration fee. The students earn academic credit for the course, which is added to their high school transcript as an impressive record for college admissions representatives and future employers.

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Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2015, the independent, non-profit Museum of Flight is one of the largest air and space museums in the world, serving more than 560,000 visitors annually. The Museum's collection includes more than 160 historically significant airplanes and spacecraft, from the first fighter plane (1914) to today's 787 Dreamliner. Attractions also include the original Boeing Company factory, and the world's only full-scale NASA Space Shuttle Trainer. The Museum's aviation and space library and archives are the largest on the West Coast. More than 150,000 individuals are served annually by the Museum's on-site and outreach educational programs. The Museum of Flight is accredited by the American Association of Museums, and is an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.

The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, Exit 158 off Interstate 5 on Boeing Field halfway between downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $20 for adults, $17 for seniors 65 and older, $17 for active military, $12 for youth 5 to 17, and free for children under 5. Group rates are available. Admission on the first Thursday of the month is free from 5 to 9 p.m. courtesy of Wells Fargo. McCormick & Schmick's Wings Café is on site. For general Museum information, please call 206-764-5720 or visit

Ted Huetter
Public Relations
and Promotions Manager
Rachel Dreeben
and Public Relations Coordinator