The pure joy on ten-year-old Ariene Khan’s face is unmistakable as she sits in the cockpit of a Boeing 737-800 flight simulator learning to fly the same model airplane CAL (Caribbean Airlines) operates.
The same look of joy and excitement were reflected in the faces of the other children at Professional Airline Training Solutions Ltd’s (PROATS) aviation camp held last month at Reserve Road, Trincity.
The camp was designed to introduce individuals to the world of aerospace.
Many different aspects of aviation were included in the programme such as the airplane, parts, technology, systems, the theory of flight and weather.
Besides engaging the children and allowing them to realise their aviation dreams in a fun-filled, immersive and educational environment, they learned other components as well such as self-esteem, anger management, stress relief, leadership skills, communication, teamwork, critical thinking, and problem-solving.
Ariene from Princes Town said "I want to be pilot when I grow up. Mom first saw the camp on Facebook, my older sister came to the camp and now she’s studying to be a pilot.
"I made friends at the camp, there are two other girls in class, the self-esteem programme is very inspirational. We also learned to communicate with other people, where they’re from and it definitely pushed me to the next level of being a pilot.
“If you don’t want to be a pilot and come, I’m sure you will be motivated and will want to be one as the camp is very motivational and inspirational and it’s very exciting to use the simulators.”
For Marcus Alexander, ten, from Pointe-a Pierre, it was his second time at the camp.
The St Peter’s Private Primary School student said he learned a lot of things that will help him and the other students in life.
Marcus said he learned stress techniques to help when feeling stressed out during a test—you could stop for a little bit, do stress relief exercises and restart.
Liam Costelloe, 14, from Diego Martin said one of his Fatima College school friends who went to the camp last year told him about it.
He said it was very interesting, the students learned different aspects of the airplane, how it functioned, jet engines versus propellers, and the 737-800 was his favourite to fly.
Liam said their training to be a pilot can be applied to going for a job as well as stress relief in your daily life.
Jessiah Weekes, 14, from Talparo said his favourite airplane was the Cessna 172.
The El Dorado West Secondary School student said the phonetic alphabet such as Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot pilots’ used had a purpose to avoid an accident from occurring.