By Noa Brown
Blue Wings is a relatively new club on campus primarily focused on helping aspiring pilots get through flight training more quickly. It has partnerships with airline businesses including Jet Blue, Cape Air, and Express Jet. Through its partnerships, President Ysabel Rodriguez hopes to provide young pilots with valuable mentors, connections with industry, as well as exposure to different aspects of commercial aviation.
Recently, Blue Wings embarked on a trip to San Francisco. The trip lasted from Friday to Sunday at the beginning of spring break. The first day included a tour at NASA-Ames Research Center at Moffett Air Field.
At NASA, students got insight to the world of aerospace engineering. Ames Research Center is home to the world’s largest wind tunnel. “I really enjoyed the 747-400 Simulator, it was awesome to sit in a full motion simulator and fly a traffic pattern,” exclaimed one of the Blue Wings members.
The following day, Blue Wings brought in members to San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Students got access to many exciting parts of the airport during their tour, thanks to their ramp passes. Part of the tour included going inside the ramp tower, where airplanes are directed from the taxiways to their gates and vice versa. “We eventually got to go to the roof to see all the aircraft taxiing,” explained the club president, Ysabel Rodriguez.
After exploring the ramp tower, the students could go inside one of Jet Blue’s A320 “Mint Class” aircraft. As Ysabel described it, “Mint is Jet Blue’s new luxury option that does non-stop flights between New York and San Francisco.” The interior included numerous comforts from extra wide TV screens to concession stands with fresh-baked goods.
Following the trip to SFO, students were free to hang out in San Francisco for the rest of the day. By Sunday, the trip was over and everyone either went home for Spring Break or continued to stay in San Francisco.
The purpose behind Blue Wings is to give students pursuing aviation-related careers exposure to all the other disciplines in aviation including airport management, business, air traffic control, and engineering. Its aim was also to provide students with important business connections that can help advance their careers. The SFO trip was very successful in achieving both tasks.
In the future, Ysabel Rodriguez also hopes to expand the Blue Wings and continue pursuing its goals. She is in the works to bring in a speaker every month to campus and organize more field trips. A potential location for a new trip would be to Jet Blue University where all airline staff for Jet Blue are trained. A trip back to SFO is also quite likely.
Blue Wings is a great club for pilots that want to improve their business networking and any other student who is interested in learning about the numerous disciplines within commercial air travel.