Scouts pursue aviation badge at DeKalb airport

Published: Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 5:30 a.m.CDT
(Provided photo)
Aviation studentsfrom Kishwaukee Educational Consortiumdirected scouts from Troop 33 as theyexperiencedusingflight simulators.

In pursuit of the aviation merit badge, Boy Scouts from Troop 33 in DeKalbspent a day at DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport. They were the guests of KishwaukeeEducation Consortium, DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport Authority, and Fly America Flight School.

Their aviation adventure began with classroom learning covering variousaspects of aviation, including uses of aircraft today and how piston, turboprop, and jet engineswork; physical forces such as lift, drag and thrust; and how control surfaces of an aircraft are used for maneuvering. They also learned about instrumentationin the cockpit and about recreational and private pilot certificates and instrument ratings.

Scouts received a special tour of the airport runways, taxiways,and fleet of emergency equipment.They saw a plane preparing for takeoffand learned about how radio communications, flight regulations and light signalsmake the airport operate safely.

Boys gave a plane a pre-flight inspection, observing firsthand how different parts of the plane work. While sitting in the cockpit, theymaneuvered wing flaps such as aileron, elevator and rudder. They learned about all the safety checks thatare made before each flight.

The most exciting part of the day was using flight simulators, whichprovided Scouts with a virtual-reality flying experience. The scouts’ instructorswere KEC aviation students. Sitting in the cockpit, they operated controls while talking over headphones with a virtual realitycontrol tower. They completed several maneuvers, including takeoffs, turns, climbs, descentsand landings. Scouts used the instruments and controls just as a real pilotwould in an actual flight. It was the closest thing to a piloting a real plane.

By the end of the afternoon, they had completed all the requirements foraviation merit badges. Troop 33 is sponsored by First Lutheran Church in DeKalb and are online at

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