SOURCE: Los Angeles World Airports

April 25, 2008 15:00 ET

Career Day Brings World of Aviation to More Than 1,400 Valley Students

Event at Van Nuys Airport Also Features First LA Appearance by Young Record-Setting Pilot

VAN NUYS, CA--(Marketwire - April 25, 2008) - An exciting and interactive career day today introduced the world of aviation, including career opportunities, to more than 1,400 students from 35 San Fernando Valley middle and high schools. One of many highlights included a motivational speech by Barrington Irving -- who became the first African American pilot and youngest person ever to fly solo around the globe in 2007 at age 23 -- and who made his first-ever Los Angeles appearance at this event.

Presented in partnership with Van Nuys Airport (VNY) -- celebrating its 80th birthday this year -- Syncro Aviation, Los Angeles City Councilmember Tony Cardenas and the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley, Aviation Career Day offered nearly 60 interactive and hands-on displays, such as a "Super Science" area with hands-on science experiments and demonstrations; an Embry-Riddle University "build camp," where students created and flew model airplanes; a simulated classroom demonstrating student mechanics at work; a small-scale wind tunnel and aircraft flight simulator; and a state-of-the-art manufacturing and technology lab.

The event also featured civilian and military aircraft displays, including the U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet, U.S. Air Force T-38 Talon and Coast Guard C-130 Hercules. Students had the opportunity to tour and sit in the cockpit of the C-130, plus get up close to the military jets and meet the pilots who fly them.

Irving, whose public appearance was sponsored by Chevron Global Aviation, in partnership with Skytrails Aviation, spoke to the students about his remarkable accomplishment in his single-engine plane called "Inspiration." He hopes his historic flight will inspire young people to resist negative influences and pursue their dreams.

Noted City Councilmember Cardenas, "We believe that Aviation Career Day will give wings to students' dreams as they think about their futures, and we hope some of these students will consider careers with Van Nuys Airport to help provide Los Angeles with an educated, dedicated workforce for decades to come."

Aviation Career Day took part during VNY's Aviation Week, a series of activities to mark the airport's eight decades as a leader in aviation, business and community service.

"VNY's Aviation Week events serve as our way to thank the community for its partnership over our amazing history and to highlight the airport's community and educational programs that enhance public education, build stronger relationships with our neighbors, facilitate aviation-related career and training opportunities, and much more," said VNY Manager Selena Birk.

This year's Aviation Career Day also had special meaning as it paid tribute to Barbara Cesar, the co-founder of Syncro Aviation and an aviation education advocate. Cesar passed away last November.

"It's a privilege for Syncro Aviation to have a plaque unveiled that honors the life and legacy of Barbara Cesar," said Syncro Aviation President Pierre-Louis Moroni. "We look forward to continuing to work with the airport on future aviation education initiatives and keep Barbara's vision alive."

Those who would like to learn more about VNY and the world of general aviation are invited to VNY's Community Day, taking place Saturday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Airtel Plaza Hotel (7277 Valjean Ave.). The free event will feature static aircraft displays, including vintage Condor Squadron AT-6 Texan aircraft, the "Super Science" area from Aviation Career Day, airfield tours that provide an insider's glimpse of the world's busiest general aviation airport, live entertainment and more.

Parking is available at the Van Nuys FlyAway Bus Terminal, 7610 Woodley Ave., for $4 with free shuttles to and from the hotel.

For additional information on VNY's other community and educational programs, including guided group tours, presentations and the summer weeklong Aviation Careers Education (ACE) Academy for students, visit or call (818) 909-3529.

Aviation Career Day was sponsored by Clay Lacy Aviation, Castle & Cooke, Duncan Avionics, Maguire Aviation, Mission Valley Bank, Jet Fleet International, P.K. Aire, TWC Aviation and Van Nuys Airport Association.

Contact Information

  • Contact:

    (818) 909-3529