Aeronautical University and Careers in Aviation Inc. will revisit
aviation's early days by sponsoring a national barnstorming tour
with a difference. In 1926, not long after the Wright brothers'
first flight, John Paul Riddle, one of the school's founders, was
giving aerial joyrides in Jennys and Wacos to drum up business for
his fledgling flying business in Cincinnati, Ohio.
On Jan. 24, Jamail Larkins, a 19-year-old aviation business
student at Embry-Riddle's Daytona Beach, Fla., campus, will update
that tradition when he begins a 20-city national tour piloting a
new Cirrus SR20 aircraft. His mission: get youngsters in middle
schools and high schools along the way thinking about careers in
Embry-Riddle's partner in the tour is Careers in Aviation, an
organization that seeks to raise young people's awareness about
opportunities in aviation. Sponsors are Aeroshell, AirShares Elite,
Cirrus, Cox Communications, Lift, and Michelin.
"We're very happy to join with Embry-Riddle in bringing this
educational opportunity to young people across America," said Shawn
Raker, president of Careers in Aviation. "It's a perfect way to
spread the news about the many exciting careers in aviation and
that the industry needs talented young people."
The national tour officially starts in Lakeland, Fla. Every
Thursday, Larkins will fly the Cirrus to a different city, where he
will visit schools, make presentations, and discuss aviation with
Students in schools included on Larkins' tour will be invited
beforehand to write an essay answering the question, "How do you
envision the next century of flight?" Judging will take place prior
to each school visit. Winning essayists will be given the
opportunity to fly with the Embry-Riddle student in the Cirrus the
Larkins, who is the national spokesperson for Careers in
Aviation, will put students who want to learn more about aviation
in touch with a Careers in Aviation representative or an EAA Young
Eagles coordinator in their area.
Besides Lakeland, other stops on Larkins' national tour of
middle schools and high schools are:
- Atlanta, Ga.
- Brooklyn, N.Y.
- Chicago, Ill.
- Cincinnati, Ohio
- Cleveland, Ohio
- Dallas, Texas
- Dare County, N.C.
- Denver, Colo.
- Fairfax County, Va.
- Greenville, S.C.
- Houston, Texas
- Los Angeles, Calif.
- Minneapolis, Minn.
- Montgomery County, Md.
- Orlando, Fla.
- Philadelphia, Pa.
- Phoenix, Ariz.
Embry-Riddle and Careers in Aviation are in discussions with
school districts in additional cities to be announced later.
Larkins started flying at the age of 12. Two years later, the
Augusta, Ga., native became one of the youngest certified pilots in
the United States when he soloed a powered aircraft in Canada. He
completed his US solo shortly after his 16th birthday in a Cirrus
SR20. He currently flies a high-performance Christen Eagle II