Kyra Purvis ABC 33/40 NEWS
Students take flight with Alabama Aerospace and Aviation high school 
October 2, 2023
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  • More than 100 ninth and tenth grade students had the chance to conquer the sky by flying their first airplane. 

    These students attend the Alabama Aerospace and Aviation high school. 

    The school is focused on addressing the need for inclusion and diversity within the aviation industry. 

    Students were able to participate in a discovery flight. Each students was accompanied by a certified pilot and had the chance to control their own plane. 

    The goal of this discovery flight is to get students interested in learning more about aviation. 

    “This one event is a tipping point where [students] can actually take control of their educational careers and realize that this is attainable that I can actually be a pilot and I can work in the aviation field,” said Ruben Morris, CEO Founder of Alabama Aerospace and Aviation high school. 

    Emory Wilson, a 10th grade aviation student, says his first discovery flight was one he’ll never forget. 

    “It’s mixed emotions, like my first time flying so like when you lift of the ground it’s a different feeling,” said “I always wanted to be a pilot so having that platform for me to chase my dreams is very important to me.” 

    Organizers with the school say for many of these students, this was their first time in the air. 

    Kenyatta Ruffin, a current pilot and founder of the Legacy Flight Academy says early exposure to flying is critical to peaking a students interest in aviation. 

    The hope is to fill the need for jobs in the aviation industry. 

    “We need over 250,000 pilots over the next decade but globally that number doubles,” said Ruffin , “When you think about half a million pilots you need another one and a half million aviation technicians engineers air traffic control is a big need right now mechanics.” 

    The aviation school has doubled its enrollment since opening the school last year. 

    The goal is to train these students into aviation professionals that work in the industry right here in Alabama. 

    Morris says there are still open spots available for 9th and 10th grade students looking to join the program.