Jaqueline Engler dreams of becoming a pilot one day, writes Kristofer Noceda in the San Francisco-area Daily Review for April 27.
The senior at Castro Valley High School told Noceda she has “always loved airplanes and traveling,” so she didn’t hesitate at an opportunity to get an inside perspective on how the aviation industry works. She was part of a group of 12 Bay Area high school students recruited to participate in a recent Cathay Pacific Airways “I Can Fly” program.
“We wanted to expose the students to a side of commercial aviation that not a lot of people hear about,” said Cathay Pacific’s Nancy Tao. The nine-week program began in February and concluded early in April. Participating students met weekly in San Francisco. They toured San Francisco International Airport and got an exclusive look at how airline crews prepare for a flight.
“I learned that there are so many things that go on behind the scenes that many don’t even realize when they’re flying,” said Ty Dinkelspiel, a junior at San Ramon Valley High School, who has been considering a career in aviation. After participating in the program, he said he is now 100% sure he wants to get into the field.
Students also were able to speak with pilots, tour a Boeing 747 and gain an appreciation for what it takes to be a flight attendant. “There’s a lot of teamwork involved,” said Lily Ko, another senior at Castro Valley High. “They don’t get enough credit for what they do.”
“I Can Fly” was launched in 2003 at Cathay Pacific’s headquarters in Hong Kong. The program has had more than 1,000 participants, Tao said.
For more information: www.cathaypacific.com/us/icanfly