Denver area Littles let their dreams soar in a new event to promote interest in aviation-related careers

On Saturday, May 18, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado (BBBSC) hosted an Aviation Day to encourage Littles in our community to take an interest in flight and aviation-related careers. For many, this was their first time ever in an airplane. Working with Wings Over the Rockies (WOTR), Experimental Aircraft Association Young Eagles (EAA), Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology, and the Mustang Cadet Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), the event also served as an opportunity to introduce the Littles to professionals in the Colorado aviation community as well as flight. As a part of their Pledge 1% initiative, Denver-based Flonomics brought the idea for Aviation Day to BBBSC and contributed their volunteer time to make it a reality.

Citing a growing shortage of commercial and military pilots, the event gave Littles and their Bigs the chance to live the ins and outs of being a real-life pilot, if only for half a day. The hope of organizers was for the Littles to see themselves one day crisscrossing the skies as a pilot, or working on the ground as a mechanic or other aviation professionals. Indeed, seeing just how interesting and fun aviation can be, hopefully encouraged them to take that vision seriously going forward.

“This event was a unique opportunity to spark curiosity and imagination in aviation-related fields among the youth in our community,” said Flonomics CEO Charles Von Thun.

Aviation Day began with Littles from the Denver metro area attending Ground School, a safety briefing to help them get the most out of their experience. Next, the Littles and their Bigs learned pre-fight and radio procedures, and met their pilot for the main event: a 15-20 minute flight aboard a general aviation aircraft. For many Littles in attendance, this was their first ever flight in an aircraft – and they got to handle the controls!

The flying portion was donated by EAA Young Eagles. As a further benefit, EAA provided each Little with a logbook and free online ground school. The day also included working with CAP cadets to simulate landings and understand the management of glideslope and speed when approaching the airfield. CAP cadets also shared their passion for aerospace education with the Littles.

Von Thun said, “Flonomics has been a proud supporter of BBBSC for the past 5 years. It gives us such joy to watch kids in our community thrive through the power of positive adult mentorship. And to see that through an industry as exciting and impactful as aviation is, even better.”

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado has served youth in Colorado since 1918 and is the largest mentoring agency in the state. The mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado supports over 1,700 one-to-one mentoring relationships between youth and volunteer mentors in the metro Denver and Colorado Springs areas. The agency holds itself accountable for proven, measurable outcomes – helping children who face adversity succeed in school, avoid risky behaviors, and have higher aspirations and self-confidence.

About Flonomics

Flonomics is a technology company based in Denver, CO. Flonomics software is used by retailers, museums, libraries and other attractions worldwide to improve performance.