The Edwards Agency


Taking a turn in the cockpit

Inglemoor students in pilot's seat

simulator interior

In the cockpit of a 747-200, Inglemoor High students Emily Jennings (right) and Zach Flowers (left) get a hands-on lesson from South Seattle Community College instructor Dave Dobrich.

simulator exterior

Students took turns in the Boeing 747-200, acting in the roles of pilot, co-pilot, and flight engineer.
Photos by Jeff Switzer/Woodinville Weekly.

flight simulator by Jeff Switzer
Alarms rang, alerting the student pilots to the engine fires on the Boeing 747. The instructor at their side walked them through the procedures and told them not to worry.
   The Boeing 747-200 series simulator landed at Inglemoor High School last week, courtesy of South Seattle Community College, where students are molded into aircraft mechanics in a two-year program.
   Students came in teams of three every five minutes for more than four hours, taking on roles as pilot, co-pilot, and flight engineer.
   "It was interesting to learn how many instruments the pilot has to balance and be aware of," said Emily Jennings, a junior at Inglemoor.
   "And all the lights they have in there," added Zach Flowers, also a junior. "It's crazy how many lights they have in there."
   Many students said they came away from the experience appreciating the complexity of the pilot's job.
   "There were a lot more instruments than in my car," said senior Simon Poulson, who noted he wouldn't want to pay the insurance on the plane.
   The instructors on hand at the simulation said the program prepares students for the airframe and powerplant exam. One of their former female students now is captain of a 747 for Tower Air.
   Pam Metcalfe, career education coordinator for Inglemoor High School, said there is career curriculum in place at each grade level, and noted that some have set directions while others have yet to decide.
   "Seeing the relevance of their education starts them thinking," said Metcalfe. "Northshore School District has a strong 'School to Work' program, and I think this is a wonderful opportunity for the students."