Thursday, July 24, 2008

Delta’s ‘Dream Flight’ Carries Aviation Students to Johnson Space Center

Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) and the Organization of Black Airline Pilots (OBAP) today (July 23, 2008) celebrate the ninth annual ‘Dream Flight’ carrying more than 150 students to the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Delta co-sponsors OBAP’s Aviation Career Education (ACE) camp – two, week-long summer programs for youth, ages 14 - 18, who have an interest in pursuing careers in aviation. During the camp, held primarily at Delta’s world headquarters in Atlanta, qualified flight instructors teach students aviation history, aerodynamics, meteorology, navigation and flight simulator orientation. Select graduates from ACE Camp are invited back the following year to participate in Flight Line, an intensive tutorial focused specifically on pilot training, including allowing students to perform solo flights during their week-long training.

As part of the final week of training, all camp students participate in a day-long field trip to an aviation facility in the United States. Past trips include visits to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla., and most recently the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio.

"We are proud to continue Delta's tradition of educating future professionals," said Stephen Dickson, Delta’s senior vice president - Flight Operations. "Regardless of whether these teens become pilots, flight attendants or something else, we know that their time at camp has given them a bigger platform to pursue their educational and employment dreams."

Delta donated a charter flight to carry the aviation students, many of whom are taking their first commercial flight. After arriving in Houston on Flight 9997, operated by Delta using a Boeing 757, students will enjoy a guided tour of the historic space center, complete with briefings from active NASA astronauts.

In the brief ACE camp/Flight Line history, Delta and OBAP have exposed more than 1000 students to careers in aviation. Currently, six former ACE camp attendees are studying aviation at the U.S. Air Force and Naval Academies, and four other camp alumni are commercial pilots.
On Friday, July 25, all three camps will take part of the 2008 graduation ceremonies held in the Delta Training Center.

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