Purdue Aviation students visit Grissom

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jami K. Lancette
  • 434th ARW Public Affairs
Future pilots got a glimpse into military aviation during a recent visit to Grissom.

Nine aviation students from Purdue University’s American Association of Airport Executives club got an up-close look at one of Grissom’s 16 KC-135R Stratotankers and what it takes to make them fly.

“As a kid I was always interested in transportation like trains and planes,” said Luigi Raphael Dy, an aviation management student. “I traveled a lot as a kid with my parents so that’s what sparked an interest in aviation.”

AAAE’s president plans to pursue a commission in the U.S. Navy once he graduates, and particularly enjoyed seeing a military aircraft up close.

“I want to be a pilot in the military eventually so I really enjoyed seeing the cockpit of the KC-135 Stratotanker,” said Adam Baker AAAE president. “I really enjoy being around military aircraft and military bases, it’s what I grew up around.”

According to their website the student chapter’s mission is to foster the development of aviation professionals though active engagement in opportunities inclusive of profession networking, facility tours, and the recruitment of guest speakers to speak to the organization.

Their tour consisted of an extensive look inside a KC-135R Stratotanker from nose to tail as well as a trip to the propulsion shop to get a glance at one of the aircraft’s engines.

“I’ve been in other cockpits like in small planes but there’s still nothing like being able to sit inside the KC-135’s cockpit,” said Dy. “And to know that maybe in the future I can fly something like that.”

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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