Lowcountry students encouraged to pursue aviation careers

Industry professionals hope to end significant pilot shortage

Lowcountry students encouraged to pursue aviation careers
Aviation Day (Source: Live5News)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - On Friday, nearly 200 Lowcountry students attended an “Aviation Day” at the Charleston Executive Airport.

Many of the students were a part of JROTC or ROTC programs at different schools like R. B. Stall High School, Fort Dorchester High School, The Citadel and Charleston Southern University.

The non-profit encourages students, ages 15-25, to get interested and involved in the aviation industry. At the “Aviation Day” the students were able to talk to airline, Air Force and Coastal Guard pilots and event got to fly on local Discovery Flights around the Lowcountry.

Christopher Will, the president of the Lowcountry Aviation Association, said the day was a great opportunity for students.

“Both the military and commercial sectors of aviation have a really significant pilot shortage that’s not going to be solved anytime soon," Will added. “And one of the things both commercial and military aviation leaders have done is reach out to new communities and bring new kids into the fold. A lot of kids grow up not knowing aviation is an option but anyone can be a pilot.”

Will also stressed the importance of having diverse pilots from different backgrounds. There were several young women at the event who want to become pilots.

“What got me really interested in aviation is my aunt actually," junior at R.B. Stall High School, Antonia Kelly, said. “She was in the Air Force...I love seeing airplanes I love flying in them. It’s really interesting to me.” Kelly said she would also like to join the Air Force.

Gissell Hernandez, a R.B. Stall High School freshman, said she wants to be a trailblazer.

“There’s not many Hispanic people [in the aviation field], not many colored people as well," Hernandez said. “I could probably be the first to make history in some way and be proud and show people it’s possible.”

Follow to link to learn more about the Lowcountry Aviation Association.

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