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Next Engineers at SA Airlink

June 28, 2024

The second day of the site visits, Academy Cohort 2 learners explored the aviation sector. Their visit was not only limited to the engineering section. The team from Airlink was very welcoming as they received the PROTEC team, GE Vernova team, learners and FHI 360's Next Engineers project director, Steven Ehrenberg, with open arms. The group was split into two, with one group exploring the flight crew side and the other group exploring the engineering section, then later swapping the groups. 

In the flight crew section, the groups spent time with the flight attendants and were informed about the duties of the crew (before, during and after flights), and even got to test some of the in-flight equipment that they use to carry out their work. The learners were taught about first aid, firefighting and handling dangerous goods, and why knowing all these is important. Thereafter, they were taken to view the flight simulators where pilots do their training and even had an opportunity to view the simulator control center. Here, several learners expressed their interest in the software used for the simulators and how the kits are developed, with one learner confirming that she had always been interested in software engineering and after seeing the simulators, she may have found her field of specialty. 

Academy students visit Airlink

Academy students look at airplane

After a brief break, the groups swapped, and they had the opportunity to see aircrafts that were stripped so that they could see the different internal parts. They went inside an aircraft and saw how it looked with the seats, galleys, storage and decorative coverings. This inspired many of the learners to consider taking up aviation as a prospective career. 

Even though we are aware that not all Academy learners will pursue engineering as a career, interactive experiences like this visit to Airlink allow students to connect their classroom learning with the real world and see themselves as the next generation of engineers.