NRB soars with Flying Club

FRESHMAN TAKE to the skies with members of RPI's Flying Club in places and realistic simulators.

To welcome incoming freshmen, the RPI Flying Club hosted a day at the Schenectady County Airport encompassing all that defines aviation. The Flying Club event featured a tour of the Empire State Aerospace Museum in Glenville, New York and Schenectady County Airport control tower in Scotia, New York as well as flight simulations and flights around the airport.

The museum tour showcased dozens of fighter jets, allowed visitors to board various aircraft, and featured a simulated reality vehicle. Freshmen were given the chance to board a Bell UH-1 Iroquois previously used for both medical evacuation and the United States military and Mikoyan-Gurveich MiG-15 jet fighter aircraft created in the Soviet Union. The simulated reality vehicle was modeled on a Grumman F-14 Tomcat, which gave visitors a virtual experience of flying a variable-sweep wing fighter aircraft. The airport control tower included a tour led by two employees stationed on the top of the tower who communicated with pilots taxiing on the runway and aircraft preparing for landing.

This Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond experience did not fall short of providing insight into both the virtual and real aspects of flight. The real action featured flight simulations and rides on aircraft. Flight simulations, currently used in flight education and testing, allow a student pilot to fly a plane without leaving a moving, confined space on the ground. The simulation at Schenectady County Airport was provided by Richmor Aviation—both a flight school and fixed base operator responsible for fueling and aircraft maintenance. The Federal Aviation Administration-approved Redbird Full Motion Simulator allowed freshmen to experience grave weather conditions and engine failures while attempting to land a plane safely. To end the day, each student had the opportunity to fly in a Cessna 172 with the Flying Club safety officer and catch a view of the Schenectady airport and surrounding area.

With such a comprehensive experience, students were left speechless. Freshmen with varying previous exposure to aviation walked away more knowledgeable from this NRB event. If you are interested in aviation, consider joining the RPI Flying Club. They welcome all students, especially as the fall semester takes off (pun intended).