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Aviation Events Held Across the Commonwealth

The Virginia Department of Aviation’s ICON A5 Introduction to Flight team hit the road for a southwest Virginia swing. The Public Relations and Education staff visited Galax Middle School, Shawsville Middle School and Narrows Elementary/Middle School over the course of three days.

Students grades 5-8 listened to a presentation about the ICON A5 aircraft and learned about the forces of flight. The PR team also educated students on various aviation careers they could pursue, including becoming a pilot, air traffic controller or aircraft mechanic. The visit was the perfect hands-on learning experience to bring aviation to life outside of the classroom.

“We are currently in our space unit and learning a lot about space exploration,” Shawsville teacher Olivia O’Hara said. “The plane visit helped students think about aerodynamics, the cost of flight and the difficulties of piloting an air/spacecraft. Our students are also taking a career education class. This visit helped them continue to explore possible careers!”

Each student had the opportunity to sit in the cockpit of the ICON A5 and operate the controls of the aircraft. They were also able to use a flight simulator to fly a Cessna over a local airport. Following their time with the aircraft and simulator, students were provided with wooden balsa airplanes to build and practice flying.

The ICON A5 Introduction to Flight program continues to receive positive reviews from teachers who are thrilled to have the program come to their school. The DOAV staff gears their presentations to specific age groups to provide students with a unique learning experience.

“Our school has very little money for field trips,” O’Hara said. “This program was entirely free to the school and allowed us to have a “field trip” experience without paying for buses. The DOAV personnel were friendly, well-informed and great at keeping 6th graders engaged.”

The ICON A5 is an amphibious light sport aircraft that the DOAV PR and Education team take across the Commonwealth of Virginia to educate youth about aviation. For more information on how to get this free program to your school or local airport, email

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