A student is flying through the skies above Ventura County. Well, he’s not actually in a plane, but is experiencing flying through a new high tech classroom in Camarillo filled with flight simulators which is the latest tool to help those interested in careers in aviation, and aerospace.
Andrew Bonds is a Cal State Channel Islands student taking the Aviation, and Aerospace Sciences class offered by the Ventura County Office of Education’s Career Education Center. He says this program is helping him explore his interest in a career in aviation.
The Center’s Aviation program is in its second year, but the flight simulation center is brand new. The official name is the Test & Evaluation Collaborative Hub. When you walk into the classroom, you see more than a dozen flight simulators and even a control tower where students can learn to pilot planes, helicopters and drones. The $400,000 facility was funded by a combination of military and Ventura County Office of Education funding, as well as donations.
Dr. Tiffany Morse is Executive Director of the Ventura County Office of Education’s Career Education Center. Morse says this new facility is accessible to everyone from middle school students to college students and even adults out of school who want to enroll in the aviation class.
The class is taught by a Navy aerospace engineer and Navy reservist who tries to mix the fun of flying with the science behind it. Diallo Wallace says the more than two dozen students in the program are excited about learning about all kinds of different aspects of aviation, and the aerospace field.
Hunter Browneller is an 18 year old student in the aviation and aerospace class, and says she’s learning things she can’t get through other schools in the region. She’s already taking lessons for her private pilot’s license, and may try to become a military pilot. She says the simulators let you try flying everything from a slow speed cessna light plane to the latest military jet fighters.
Students attend class in the flight simulation classroom three hours a week, and then have an online component to the program as well. It’s expected the TECH Center will also be used to support classes at local colleges, as well as for some personnel at Naval Base Ventura County.