Kids in flight

As the children walked away and holding hands, they waved goodbye to the experience of a lifetime — sitting in the pilot’s seat of an airplane.
Tribune Staff
Jun 19, 2013


Eric Epplett, a graduate assistant for Western Michigan University’s aviation program, transported a Kitfox airplane to the Little Lakers Learning Center on Tuesday. The Spring Lake preschoolers toured the plane and learned about the world of aviation.  

Along with the plane came a flight simulator and pilot headphones. The youngsters could talk in code and learn what it was like to communicate to other pilots.

Epplett’s fellow plane-maintenance students built the aircraft without an engine and put it on a trailer. They take it around West Michigan to provide tour opportunities to children of all ages. 

“I give these tours to help introduce kids to aviation and to give them a sense of the career opportunities in this field,” Epplett said.

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The Little Lakers Learning Center has been planning this event since April. Every week, the center has a different theme for the children to learn about. 

Jen Brewster, a teacher for 3-year-olds, said the children have been most excited about this week’s aviation theme.

“I definitely wouldn’t be surprised if this event became a yearly thing,” she said.

By the end of the event, the preschoolers sat down with Epplett and talked about all the things they had done and learned. Many learned how to steer a plane and build paper airplanes, and most of all have fun with this week’s theme.

Each student was given an aviation poster and memories to last a lifetime.

— By Ashlee Shelley, Tribune intern


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