Become a Pilot

This year’s Become a Pilot Day is over, but these are some of the types of activities you can look forward to next year.

See more than 50 aircraft ranging from a newly restored DC-3 to powered parachutes.  There will be gliders, sport pilot qualified aircraft, vintage aircraft, helicopters and special attraction Solar Impulse.  Meet the pilots and talk about how and why they fly. See vintage cars paired by era with the airplanes. Other activities will take place on the lower level of the Boeing Aviation Hangar between 10 am and 3 pm unless otherwise noted and include:

Outdoor Aviation Display, Pilots and Special Announcer Ron David!
Safety Briefing Mandatory for All Visitors. Sessions held at frequent intervals with last safety briefing at 2:45 pm

  • Wing walking demonstration (10:30 am, 11:30 am, 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm)
  • Single, dual and quad-line kite flying demonstrations, kite flying tips and bol parachute kite “races”

Timed Presentations and Tours

  • Highlights tours - Meet at the Docent Desk, Boeing Aviation Hangar (10:30 am & 1 pm)
  • Decorate and build your own sled kite (10:30 am-12 pm & 1-3 pm)
  • Ask an Expert Vintage Aeronautical Charts with Roger Connor of the National Air and Space Museum’s Aeronautics Department (11 am-12:30 pm & 1:30 pm-2 pm)
  • Helldiver project with the National Air and Space Museum Archives (10:30 am-2:30 pm)
  • Fighter pilot pocket and fighter pilot suit paper dolls (11 am-3 pm)
  • Flights of Fancy story time and craft project (10:30 am-12:30 pm & 1:30 pm-2:30 pm)
  • Aviation Tot Zone - children ages 4-7 years old & adult companion (10:30 am-3 pm)

 Hands-on Activities and Presentations

  • Ask an Expert talk with Wings Over Washington Kite Club, American Kite Fliers Association, and Eastern League Sport Kite Association – kite Q&A and roaming, small, indoor kite flier demonstrations.
  • Ask an Expert talk with Southwest Airline Pilots about commercial aviation careers
  • Ask an Expert talk with Matt Carroll, Smoke Jumper, U.S. Forest Service – pilots, aircraft and smoke jumping Q&A
  • Experience hands-on learning through active looking, discussion and interaction with Discovery Stations & hands-on interactives
  • Learn About naval careers in aviation and science with the U.S. Naval Academy
  • Q&A about bird strikes with the Smithsonian’s Feather Identification Lab
  • Q&A about the effects of global volcanism on aviation with the Smithsonian’s Global Volcanism Program
  • Learn to Fly Information Desk with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
  • Learn about becoming a pilot with the Black Pilots of America Maryland Chapter
  • Demonstrations and activities with the NOVA Radio Control Airplane Club & Hobby Hangar Model Airplane
  • WWII memorabilia display and Q&A with Jan Sylvester, Orbital
  • Model rocketry display, demonstrations and activities with the Maryland Delaware Rocketry Association and Central Virginia Tripoli #25 Model Rocketry Club
  • Demonstration and hands-on activities by Virginia First Robotics
  • Building demonstration by the Washington Metropolitan Area LEGO Users Group
  • Aviation talks, interviews and podcasts with Flight Time Radio and Airplane Geeks Radio Show
  • Learn about USAF careers in aviation with the U.S.Air Force Academy
  • Learn more about careers as a pilot with the USAF Academy Graduates Way of Life Alumni Group
  • Model airplane building demonstration by the International Plastic Modelers Society
  • Learn pathways to becoming a Marine Corps Aviator with the U.S. Marine Corps
  • Become a Pilot presentation by George Mason University
  • HAWX Blazing Angels and other aviation flight simulations
  • Earn a “Become A Pilot for the Day” Certificate and prize activity at the Museum Overlook
  • Air Traffic Control flight pattern activity for tots
  • “Roboseed” monocopter Q&A with the University of Maryland

Books Signings

  • Stealth Down with author Ross Simpson (12-5 pm)
  • Soar, Eleanor! with author Tami Lewis Brown  (12-5 pm)
  • Tuskegee Airman:  The Biography of Charles E. McGee, Air Force Fighter, Combat Record Holder with author Col. Charles E. McGee  (12-5 pm)
  • American Raiders, Coming to Colorado, German Boy, Glory Days, I Always Wanted to Fly, The War of Our Childhood and Watson’s Whizzers with author Col. Wolfgang Samuel  (12-5 pm)
  • Fly the Airplane: What Being Pilots has Taught Us about Life, Love, Survival and Success with authors Meredith Tcherniavsky Holladay & Dana Holladay  (12-5 pm)
  • Top Gun Days with author Dave Baranek (12-4 pm)
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