Moorabbin Flying Services Year 9 Excursion

Aerodynamics, flight planning and flying a Seminole simulator

Sac MFS aday (3).jpgAs a part of her term three school position, on Wednesday the 20th of September, Sci-Fly’s Dr Zara Dennis led a group of 21 students from Sacré Cœur and St Kevin’s Colleges, in an introduction to aerodynamics and flight planning session at Moorabbin Flying Services. MFS was the flying school chosen for this particular event, in part, due to their impressive full-motion Seminole simulator which the students also had the opportunity to experience.

The group were warmly welcomed by Mark Darragh, who had kindly organised the day from that side - providing an instructor for the simulator and organising a great range of aircraft parts, including instruments and engine components for the students to take a first-hand look at. Commencing with some basic aerodynamics, being Year 9’s the content took a step-up from the Sci-Fly STEM Outreach school holiday programs Zara has been running previously, and the presentation would have set the students up well for some aspects of a BAK exam. Highly relevant to some of the St Kevin’s boys in particular, as they are looking at doing Aviation at school in Year 10.

With the students rotating through in pairs, everyone had a chance to get hands-on in the simulator. Flying around international locations such as New York and London, without a doubt this was a highlight for all. Meanwhile, back in the classroom, aerodynamics progressed to a short discussion on engines, prompted by the pistons, cam shaft, broken throttle butterfly, etc. Mark had provided, and then on to some flight planning. Each student was given a section of a VTC and VNC map, ruler and protractor, and an initial plan of YMMB-YLIL-YTYA-YMMB was completed as a group, including a simplified fuel calculation (a day with no wind was assumed). Those who grasp the task quickly then went on to choose their own routes, and compared aircraft speed verse fuel required, if they flew in a Piper Warrior compared to an Arrow… Not a bad outcome for two hours work, definitely some pilots in the making!

After lunch the group then went across to where the MFS aircraft are parked. Here they were shown what is involved in a typical pre-flight inspection, and finally the day culminated with the change to sit in the aircraft. A very successful and enjoyable day was had by all, and we cannot thank MFS enough for their hospitality. It was also a great opportunity for Zara to roll out some more advanced content in a Sci-Fly program, and provided the students with a unique insight as to what is involved should they decide to become a student pilot. We know a few were already planning on doing Aviation, and hopefully the day inspired a few more. Either way, the smiles confirmed that future pilot or not, an enjoyable and insightful day was had by all.