Yesterday, we departed from Colonel James Jabara Airport, where we spoke at Wichita's most prestigious technical aviation college, Wichita Area Training College (WATC) at the end of the runway. This 5-year-old state-of-the-art campus is lead by its president, Dr. Tony Kinkel. Captain Irving and I spoke to close to 400 students in the aviation program at a career fair and on the ramp with our plane.
We received an incredible welcome reception and admiration from the first few schools we met with, starting with our first presentation to another 400 students at Martin Elementary in Wichita, Kansas. Later, the leaders of the Kansas Department of Transportation treated us to a good ol’ fashioned barbecue in the back of a hangar facing the runway at a famous little airfield called Stearman Field in Benton, Kansas, not far from Wichita.
On our way to Seattle, we flew over Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Grand Teton National Park in the Rocky Mountains. From 45,000 feet up, 14,000-foot peaks don’t look so high. At that elevation, the air temperature outside the Flying Classroom was -83°F. That’s more than 100 degrees below freezing!