Students from 12 high schools across Kentucky will have their aviation knowledge put to the test Friday, Feb. 25, at a one-of-its-kind competition at a Louisville high school.
Nearly 50 students will participate in the Skills USA Aviation Competition at Shawnee High School. The event is sponsored by SkillsUSA, a career and technical education organization based in Leesburg, Va.
Students aspiring to launch careers as professional pilots, airplane mechanics and airline managers will be quizzed on their general knowledge of airplanes, cross country flight planning, inspecting an aircraft before flight, aircraft recognition, and their simulated flying skills.
“This competition is an excellent first step in preparing for a career in aviation after high school,’’ said Dr. Tim Smith, chief executive officer with the Kentucky Institute for Aerospace Education.
The Frankfort-based institute is a network of 12 schools across Kentucky that offer aviation programs as a way to create career pathways in the aviation and aerospace industry. Almost 200 students from across the Commonwealth are experiencing aerospace through flight and ground instruction, aircraft maintenance, and aeronautical engineering.
The SkillsUSA Aviation Competition is in its third year, and the Kentucky event is the only competition of its kind nationally for high school students, Smith said.
The competition is divided into advanced and beginner categories.
Students will be quizzed on their airplane knowledge by reviewing a pre-flight check list while making a safety check of a plane. They will be expected to identify problems deliberately planted on the aircraft.
The competition also includes an aircraft recognition test. Students will be asked to identify the make, model and name of various planes.
Students will also man a flight simulator to show their flying skills.
The judges will be aviation professionals who will interact with the students.
“It is an important time to network and discuss aviation with professionals in the industry,’’ Smith said.
Schools competing in Friday’s competition are: Bryan Station High School, Corbin High School, Corbin Area Technology Center, Danville High School, Frankfort High School, Glasgow High School, Monroe County High School, Muhlenberg County High School, Rowan County High School, South Warren High School, Taylor County High School and The Academy at Shawnee.
For more information: kiae.org or 502-320-9490