October 12, 2010
By Jill W. Tallman
Southern Illinois University Carbondale held an aviation career day on Oct. 9 that featured an aircraft and pilots from American Airlines. The sixth annual event drew 110 Chicago-area high school students who came out to learn more about SIUC’s aviation program.
The AA MD-80 was flown in and staffed by employees who are also SIUC alumni, the school said. Capt. Rich Mueller and First Officer Tom Meagher, both SIUC aviation alumni, piloted the airplane. Four of the five flight attendants on board and eight additional AA employees who came as volunteers were alumni as well.
“It is absolutely unique for any university to have this kind of partnership where an airline provides a plane for a day and staffs it with the university’s alumni to fly down and show off the airline and potential careers to high school students,” said David A. NewMyer, chair of the university’s department of aviation management and flight.
AOPA Technical Editor Jill W. Tallman is an instrument-rated private pilot who owns a Piper Cherokee 140.
A touch of history, affordable flying, unique sightseeing, a good meal, and a community of pilots: Isn’t that what general aviation is all about?
Getting the job done on the local and national levels requires long-term planning, a hands-on approach, and keeping the effort moving, said Sean Collins, AOPA’s Eastern regional manager.
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