UNT, TCC summer camp lets high school students co-pilot a small plane and explore jobs in aviation

High school students will get the chance to explore aviation and aerospace careers through an innovative summer camp offered by the University of North Texas College of Business and Tarrant County College.

The 2018 ACE (Aviation Career Education Academy) Camp will let attendees practice with flight simulators, learn about the mechanics of flight and aviation history, take field trips to nearby aviation companies and airports and even co-pilot a small air plane with an FAA-certified flight instructor. The camp is for juniors, seniors and recent high school graduates.

“Aviation jobs pay well and are in high demand, and the need for pilots, maintenance technicians and other aviation professionals will continue to grow,” said Darrell Irby, chair of TCC’s Aviation Department. “Through our partnership with UNT, we are providing accessible pathways into the aviation industry—beginning the training process for the next generation of professionals before they even enroll in college.”

Throughout the camp, students will learn about different career opportunities.

“Fewer than 15 percent of the jobs in aviation involve the cockpit or the cabin of an airplane, but for most young students, their only experience with aviation is riding on a passenger airline. We want to change that.” said Steve Joiner, a lecturer in UNT’s Department of Marketing and Logistics and camp organizer.

Joiner added that this camp is unique because, unlike other camps, this program is hosted by two higher education institutions. TCC offers associate degrees and certificates in programs including professional pilot, airframe maintenance and electronics technology and aviation maintenance technology. UNT offers a four-year, bachelor’s degree in aviation logistics that teaches students how air transportation works in conjunction with other modes of transportation to help businesses manage their supply chain in the most cost- and time-effective manner.

“You have to be exposed to a career field to see if it piques an interest and will be something you have a passion for,” said Mark Loud, TCC aviation instructor and ACE Camp coordinator. “Those of us involved with TCC aviation already have that passion, and we want to foster it in the next generation. ACE camp provides that opportunity, allowing the younger students to experience firsthand some of the careers and great things they can do in aviation.”

The camp will be hosted at TCC’s Erma C. Johnson Hadley Northwest Center of Excellence for Aviation, Transportation and Logistics located at 2301 Horizon Dr. in Fort Worth. It takes place June 11 to 15 (Monday to Friday) from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Registration is $350 per student and will cover camp classes, tours and the introductory flight, as well as a daily lunch.