Students use flight simulator at Page Field Airport

Reporter: Maddie Herron Writer: Carolina Guzman
Published: Updated:

Students are setting their sights on the skies and their dreams on the clouds while staying on the ground.

It’s all part of a JROTC Leadership Camp at the Page Field Airport. Students use flight simulators and Air Force virtual reality tools.

For these kids, not even the sky is the limit. From tactical military exercises to group team-building puzzles, these campers put their aviation skills to the test.

Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps or JROTC members flocked to Page Field Airport in Fort Myers Thursday morning, not to catch flights, but for summer camp.

“The goal of our camp is character development. We use a science, technology, engineering and math focus that allows us to build challenges that the kids have to solve as teams,” said Col. Rodney Scott Robinson, Lee County School District director of Army Instruction. 

“It makes me feel proud, and just it makes me a better person,” said Gavin Dimaria, JROTC.

Most high schoolers head to the airport for vacation, but campers like Dimaria are there to learn, taking education to new heights.

“Over the past week, we’ve learned engineering skills with flying and everything else through paper airplanes and foam,” said Dimaria.

Paper planes to pilot practice. The flight simulator is always a crowd favorite, and it is advanced training for future pilots.

Kevin Schiffli has worked with flight simulations for over a decade. He coaches the kids on flying, teaching them skills they can also use outside the cockpit.

“It just teaches you how to make smaller adjustments,” said Remus Lee, JROTC. “You can make smaller adjustments to correct for smaller mistakes.”

“My favorite part is just seeing the kids improve,” said Kevin Schiffli, Aviation Simulator Coordinator.

Improvements Col. Robinson said make for a bright future.

“You spend a day with these kids, and they renew your hope. They’ve got the character stuff figured out,” said Robinson.

Schiffli told WINK News it takes many hopeful pilots a few practice runs before they really gain control while flying.

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