Students experience rides aboard Yak 52s

FRANKFORT, Kentucky — Several students from the Institute of Aerospace Education recently met at Bowman Field in Louisville, Kentucky, to fly in Yak 52s. Six Yak pilots from around the country gathered at the airport, letting each student experience formation flight in these amazing World War II Warbirds.

The students learned about the history and purpose of the aircraft. Many flew with the cockpit open.

The event was organized by John Caspar, a former military fighter pilot, and Jeff Carrithers, founder of, who knew the Yak pilots personally.

“Flying in formation was a great experience because I got to see the precision involved,” said Jason Smith, a senior in the institute’s flight/aeronautic program. “I could see the pilots focusing on every move we were making.”

Jason soloed at the Institute’s flight camp last summer and will earn his Private Pilot Certificate in December.

Teachers, volunteers, and pilots from the Institute were present. Larry Mooney, IAE Board Chair and Master Mechanic from Humana, and Mike Wagers, a CFI and Commercial Pilot, were on-hand to fly a photography mission capturing the moment from the sky.

The Institute of Aerospace Education is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing aerospace education for high school students. Its mission is to improve science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning through the context of aerospace.

For more information: 502-320-9490,



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