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Middle school students learn about planes at Kids Day

By Andrew Mitchell
May 3, 2013 at 12:03 a.m.

Avery Grimaldo, 12, left, and Juan Torres, 12, right, listen with their classmates while pilot Jim Reid discusses features of the King Air 200 jet airplane. The students asked questions about the jet's altitude capabilities and speed.

PORT LAVACA - Sixth-grade students from Travis and Seadrift middle schools got the opportunity to learn about different aircraft at Calhoun Air Center from professional pilots and instructors.

Five jets, two helicopters, a fire truck and an ambulance were all on hand for the 275 students to learn about and explore. Each were staffed with a professional to teach the students about their respective vehicle.

Steve Plunkett, chief organizer of the event, hoped the students might learn facts about aviation they had not known before.

"A lot of kids don't even know there is a airport in our city," said Plunkett. "They'll ask me, 'Whose airport is this?' And I tell them, 'This is your airport.'"

The students were able to enter a couple of the jets, including a King Air 200 jet that flew in from Austin earlier that day.

Avery Grimaldo, 12, peered around the inside of the jet before noticing a piece of wood that looked a bit out of place and asked what is was.

Jim Reid, the pilot of the aircraft, quickly responded that it was a fold out table for guests. The students, some who had never been on a plane before, were curious about all the lights and switches available to guests.

Larry Robinson, a pilot who was talking to the students, hoped that the chance to learn about the aircraft's left an impression on the sixth-graders.

"I hope they walk away with an appreciation for airplanes and hope that some get into flying and aviation because of this opportunity," said Robinson.

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