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Aviators share experiences with people with disabilities

June 26, 2009

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University aviation students will team up with Community Inclusive Recreation of Battle Creek, Mich., and Calhoun County to offer educational sessions about flying an airplane for people with disabilities.

Coinciding with the 2009 Field of Flight Air Show and Hot Air Balloon Festival in Battle Creek, WMU will host education stations for CIR participants from 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday, July 5, in the University's Simulated Flight Building. The session will cover simulators and flight training devices, navigational charts, the phonetic alphabet, and parts and pictures of airplanes.

During the afternoon, the group will watch the air show and afterward, will have the opportunity to get autographs from such performers as paraplegic hang glider pilot Dan Buchanan, and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds team.

"The College of Aviation at WMU could not be prouder of its relationship with both CIR and the Field of Flight Air Show. My aviation students will get a learning opportunity unlike anything they have had in their aviation courses, and the participants of CIR will get a learning opportunity on what pilots and mechanics do on an everyday basis," says Beth Beaudin-Seiler, a research associate in WMU's College of Aviation. "Both these groups will then get the awesome opportunity of watching one of the greatest air shows around front and center, meeting the pilots and getting their autographs."

WMU's College of Aviation has collaborated with the Field of Flight Air Show since moving to the W.K. Kellogg Airfield in 1997. The college is home to more than 600 students pursuing degrees in aviation flight science, aviation science and administration or aviation maintenance technology.

This is CIR's 15th anniversary as a non-profit organization that provides recreation, social inclusion and arts opportunities for people of all abilities in Battle Creek and Calhoun County.

For more information, contact Beth Beaudin-Seiler at beth.seiler@wmich.edu or (269) 964-4579.

Media contact: Deanne Molinari, (269) 387-8428, deanne.molonari@wmich.edu

WMU News
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Western Michigan University
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