DAILY NEWS | FILE PHOTO TAKE OFF: Pilot and copilot do a pre-flight check before a Wright Flight aerial tour. Wright Flight gives children the opportunity to work toward a goal and be noticeably rewarded with a chance to take off.
DAILY NEWS | FILE PHOTO
TAKE OFF: Pilot and copilot do a pre-flight check before a Wright Flight aerial tour. Wright Flight gives children the opportunity to work toward a goal and be noticeably rewarded with a chance to take off.

Archived Story

Into the wild blue yonder

Published 7:53pm Wednesday, March 19, 2014

 

Warren Airfield will be a very busy place come Saturday, March 29, as a fleet of small airplanes picks up its crew, takes off, takes an aerial tour of Washington, and lands, only to pick up more crew and do it again.

The crew on this day is a pack of fifth-graders from schools across Beaufort County. Each one has worked scholastically for the right to take on the role of copilot to the volunteer pilots for the day.

It’s an effective incentive: a personal flight in exchange for working harder in school to raise grades. It’s a learning opportunity: teaching children how to set goals and reach them. It’s a way to introduce the history of aviation into the curriculum: the invention of flight having changed the world, creating the term “global.” It’s a once in a lifetime chance: for some, this may be the only flight he or she will take in their lifetime.

Wright Flight is all those things, but it’s more. It gives these children a chance to see their home from a different perspective, to see where they live in relation to the larger world around them. Wright Flight affords these children the opportunity to try something different, to face fears and rise to the challenge of getting into a small airplane and soaring above the Beaufort County countryside.

It rewards hard work with pure thrill.

The lesson of Wright Flight day may be in keeping the plane’s nose up, but the larger lesson — that hard work can be rewarded in spectacular ways — is hopefully one that will last forever.

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