Frequent Flyers

Science teacher inspires aviation careers with new fight simulators


In upstairs B wing, science teacher Eric Gordon watches students buzzing on computers with specialized features. Rudder pedals. Yokes. Throttles. It’s on these computers that a flight training program known as X-Plane is loaded.

“It allows you to do all the things you would normally do with flying an airplane,” Gordon said. “But from the safety of sitting in front of a computer.”

The simulator room, known commonly as Terminal M, allows flight training for any student intrigued in flight and for a more diverse set of flight scenarios. Gordon believes some scenarios are best faced on a simulator.

“The simulator allows you to practice situations that you probably wouldn’t want to encounter in real life,” Gordon said. “Such as a bunch of birds flying up at your airplane or engine failures.”

Allowing room for testing, the simulator acts as a powerful tool to get those interested in aviation to fly as if they are in the real world. Gordon sees it as a pathway to future careers for students after they graduate.

“There are so many great careers that kids can get into these days in aviation and aerospace,” Gordon says. “The simulator is taking kids who already have the interest and giving them the time to practice and get better in a way that’s totally free, safe, and right here at school.”