Well, being an aviation nerd, I think it is only right that I talk about Melbourne International Airport’s largest airport event in the last year … the Melbourne Air & Space Show featuring the Thunderbirds! When it comes to being a College of Aeronautics (COA) student, it has many perks with an event like this one. Here are the Top 3 VIP experiences at the Thunderbirds air show that can make anyone want to be an aviation student.
- Become a volunteer at the air show
Although any student or citizen can volunteer at the Thunderbirds Air Show, the College of Aeronautics works closely with the program director to ensure that the students get the most out of the volunteering experience. The director made it his duty to meet all of the students and find out their interests in aviation. For example, as soon as he found out I was interested in airport development, he made it a priority to introduce me to Melbourne International Airport’s development department. In addition, as an aviation student, this is the perfect place to network with other aviation professionals not just in the area, but also from all over the world.
- College of Aeronautics VIP event
On Friday before the show began, the air show staff held a private event for College of Aeronautics students to get up close and personal with the Thunderbird aircraft and even meet a few of the pilots. The aviation industry is a tight-knit community that shares the same passion for aviation. This was a great experience that you could only have as an aviation student.
- Our professors are part of the show
Before becoming a professor at the College of Aeronautics; Professor Julie Moore spent 12 years on active duty in the U.S. Air Force. In 2003, she became an F-16 pilot and has performed various assignments for the U.S. Air Force. Today, she is still part of the 93rd Fighter Squadron as an F-16 Instructor Pilot at Homestead Air Reserve Base in Miami, Florida. She was granted access to bring two of the F-16s to the Melbourne International Airport as a static display. After talking about her F-16 experiences in class, she was finally able to show her students hands-on what she has taught. Check out this awesome article in the Florida Today about Professor Julie Moore.
The Melbourne Air & Space Show was an unforgettable experience as an aviation student. Not only was I able to watch the Thunderbirds all week from my house, the beach or Florida Tech, but also I was able to have true hands-on learning and networking opportunities.