Log In

Reset Password

Aviation summer camp takes off

First Prev 1 2 3 4 5 Next Last
Participants in the aviation summer camp were taught about the functions of parts of an aircraft during the first week of the programme (Photograph supplied)

A summer camp in St David’s, where young aspiring pilots are being taught the basics of flying an aircraft, has taken off, organisers said.

The Bermuda Aviation summer programme is being run by a group of aviation enthusiasts who plan to set up a permanent ground school on the island.

Initially, the organisers only catered for two dozen youths between the ages of 10 and 18.

However, the three-week camp at the Glory Temple Church of God, which started on Monday, attracted more than 60 applicants.

John Madiro, one of the organisers, said: “It was an overwhelming response because I just put the word out there within the middle of June for it to take off in early July and we got more than 60 applicants.

“But because of logistics we reduced it to 24 students and that is quite significant for a camp.”

Dr Madiro said several science teachers as well as young Bermudian pilot Christian Warren were among the facilitators.

The aspiring pilots are able to see aircraft in flight and on the ground at LF Wade International Airport during the practical sessions of the classes (Photograph supplied)

He said the location of the camp at the church was ideal because LF Wade International Airport was within sight.

“Just on the grounds of the church we are able to look at the planes across there at the airport,” he added.

“So if we have to show them some parts that we are talking about, or aircraft landings, we just walk across to look at the private planes and everything is within view.”

During the first three days of the camp, Dr Madiro said the participants were taught the history of aviation in Bermuda, which dates back to 1919 when the first plane landed on the island.

They learnt about the world’s first successful flight by the Wright brothers and other aspects of aviation history.

He added: “Bermuda has been very active in the history of aviation and it has got a lot of history when it comes to different types of planes, to the building of the airport that we have today.”

Dr Madiro said the participants were also taught the roles of different parts of an aircraft.

He explained: “We looked at the functions and what each part of the plane does, so that if we have to ask them about the controls, they know what control is for what.

“Like what is for take-off, what is for pitch and what is needed for rolling the plane and also what keeps the plane balanced as well.”

The aspiring pilots designed an aircraft wing which was placed in a makeshift tunnel to test its ability to remain in the air (Photograph supplied)

On Tuesday, the participants took part in a practical exercise in which they designed a model aircraft wing.

The structure was placed in a model tunnel, with large fans to demonstrate the effects of wind on an aircraft’s wing.

Dr Madiro said: “Within two days we did a lot, because we also looked at the forces acting on an aircraft and to see why action and reaction by the pilot is important when it comes to the angle of attack of the plane when in flight.”

Within the next two weeks, the classes will focus on airport management, the functions of air traffic control and the effects of weather on flights.

Dr Madiro said: “By the end of the three weeks they should know what is involved in planning a preflight exercise before you fly, what is important in weight and balance and ‘walk arounds’ of the plane before flight.”

The participants took part in multiple practical exercises during the week of the camp (Photograph supplied)

The excitement among participants is high, he said, and may peak further as arrangements are being made with pilot Heather Nicholds, who runs Blue Sky Flights Bermuda, for flyover trips across the island in her Cessna 172 aircraft.

In addition, Dr Madiro said a guest speaker would address participants on options to become licensed pilots.

He explained: “We want them to know that they can have ground school here in Bermuda and also, if they want to take this further, we can arrange with schools in the United States if they want to do their ground schooling there.

“They have to be age 18 to be licensed as pilots but nothing is stopping them from accumulating their hours before that age.”

The instructors of the summer programme. John Madiro, a trainee pilot and experienced teacher, left, with Ernie Lewin and Orlando Roberts, science teachers and pilot Christian Warren (Photograph supplied)

Meanwhile, Dr Madiro said he and his colleagues were looking at a long-term plan to establish an aviation ground school on the island.

“What we are looking at, resources permitting, is to have a more permanent ground school, obviously that would need tutors. The tutoring course is not difficult so it is possible.

“We got Christian, he did ground school here, went away, finished it out there and did his practice overseas.”

Dr Madiro said the island’s small geographical size could not facilitate the practical training of pilots.

“The problem is that Bermuda is very small and we cannot really accumulate hours. Also, there are air restrictions and night flying is not ideal here.”

However, he added: “Ground school can take place here, students can prepare themselves right here.”

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published July 06, 2024 at 7:55 am (Updated July 06, 2024 at 10:08 am)

Aviation summer camp takes off

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon