Aviation program takes flight

Retired Air Force officer leads program at Scarlett-Golden center

BY ASHLEY D. THOMAS
DAYTONA TIMES

The City of Daytona Beach has launched an aviation program at the Yvonne Scarlett-Golden Cultural and Educational Center. Youth up to age 17 have been learning the ins and outs of aircraft through flight simulation and remote-controlled aircraft.

Cherish Lents (center) takes a turn operating a C130 aircraft on a flight simulation program being projected on a large screen. Sample aircraft is also seen in the background.(PHOTOS BY ASHLEY THOMAS/DAYTONA TIMES)
Cherish Lents (center) takes a turn operating a C130 aircraft on a flight simulation program being projected on a large screen. Sample aircraft is also seen in the background.
(PHOTOS BY ASHLEY THOMAS/DAYTONA TIMES)

Arthur Miles, a retired U.S. Air Force service member and retired Daytona Beach police officer, has helped make the program a success by sharing his in-depth knowledge of aircraft with the program participants and has either donated or let the center borrow thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment so students can learn firsthand about aviation.

140724_dt_front02bDuring a display, Miles demonstrated the technical aspects of a $2,000-dollar drone, which was able to fly 900 feet straight up. The drone, like those in the Amazon debate on package delivery, uses satellites to determine its location. Satellite coordinates or an address can be inputted into the drone’s destination settings and the aircraft can be sent miles away.

Aviation hopefuls
Walther and Cherish Lents are two students who visit the center weekly for lessons on aviation. Their father, Purcy Lents, has encouraged them to continue with the program and looks forward to the two being able to attend a pilot program at age 13 or 14, which is two years away for the pair. He emboldens them to study STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects in the meantime.

140724_dt_front02c“They will learn about meteorology, wind conditions, head winds, tail winds, flying air loads,” said Miles of the program at the center. “Children who are really interested in pursuing a career in the field should also make sure to take plenty of math. They have to have it. Everything has math in it. Reading is also a part of everything.”

The free program is held every Wednesday at the Yvonne Scarlett-Golden Center at 100 Vine Street.

For more information on the aviation program, call 386-671-5780.

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