STILLMAN VALLEY, Ill. (WTVO) — An Air Force captain took a special flight on Tuesday to spark an interest in aviation at his old high school.
Students from Stillman Valley High School experienced some high flying fun.
“It was pretty wild, you know, the support is just incredible and it’s really wonderful to see all the red, white and blue around here,” said Captain Mitchell Hendrickson of the United States Air Force Helicopter Squadron.
Hendrickson landed a helicopter on the school’s football practice field. He is part of an Air Force initiative that is hoping to pique young peoples’ interest in a career in aviation.
“This is an aviation inspiration mentorship, so basically just giving back to the community and inspiring our future pilots out here,” Hendrickson said. “If they want to become a pilot or a flight engineer or anything like that, you know, anything’s possible.”
The initiative is spread nationwide, making pit stops in many pilots’ hometowns to inspire the next generation, and students seem to love it.
“It’s awesome,” said Ella Pollock, a student at Stillman Valley High School. “I think that it is so cool that he came back, and I just think it’s so neat that he landed here.”
The Aviation Inspiration Mentorship gives students the chance to talk with current Air Force officials and explore the potential pathway of aviation.