And Best in Class for Aircraft Flight Simulator at the San Diego County Fair
May 2018 — Vista, Calif. — This week, Vista High School’s Air Force JROTC (AFJROTC) team was awarded First Place and Best in Class in the Student Showcase at the San Diego County Fair for a first-ever Redbird TD2, FAA approved flight simulator for use in a high school setting. The simulator will be on display at the Fair starting June 1 through July 4.
The project began in November 2016 when AFJROTC Squadron CA-953 acquired a salvaged Cessna 182 airplane, and then over the course of 18 months a cross-disciplinary team of students and teachers from AFJROTC, auto shop and photography collaborated with community volunteers to custom design, construct and begin operating the flight simulator.
The project focused on aviation technology, mechanics, sheet metal, welding, simulator component installation, interior design and funding acquisition. Students worked together to remove all mechanical, electrical and hydraulic components as well as sheet metal fabrication and other repairs to prepare the fuselage for installation of the purchased flight simulator.
“Students worked countless hours in and out of class time to complete the project, and as a result, we’ve seen improvements in their academic science, math and reading skills and their expanded knowledge of military, civilian and aviation careers,” said Colonel (Ret) Vinny Lostetter, Senior Aerospace Science Instructor at Vista High School.
The capstone event for the project was a one-hour flight flown in a Civil Air Patrol Cessna 182, which 63 AFJROTC cadets have participated in so far. Cadets had the opportunity to flight plan and fly the mission in the simulator before the flight.
Starting in the fall of 2018, Vista High School will offer a new course called Introduction to Aviation and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems, which will include flight ground school and state-of-the-art drones. The course includes Career Technical Education (CTE) and AFJROTC students, is articulated with Palomar College for 3 credits and is approved as a G elective course through the University of California.
Donors and volunteers on the project included the United States Air Force Civil Air Patrol and Fallbrook Squadron 87, XQ Institute, American Legion Post 365, United States Army, Air Force Association and MTM Upholstery.