And our daily trips to the airport begin….

One great thing about having an airshow in the community you live is getting to visit the airport up until the day of the show. On the day of the show, there are lots of people and lots of fun, but the days before are a special time too.

I got the Live ATC feed app off iTunes and we headed off to the airport this morning to see what we could see.

It is quite neat to hear the tower feed so you know where to look for incoming planes. By the end of the first hour Nicholas knew what the words “clear to land” meant and, more importantly, what they sounded like over the ATC radio.

What a rewarding experience this morning was. The California Capital Airshow has a Facebook feed where they post when planes are coming in (some of them – I think they should post more when they are on approach so we can see the big planes come in – like the C17, C5, and B52). But it is a neat service that we took full advantage of.

We sat there and watched for a bit this morning and we went back this afternoon.

Why are the days before the airshow cool?

The pilots are walking around, as are the aircraft crew, and you can ask them questions. Nicholas has tons of questions that he simply starts to blurt out whenever he sees someone in uniform. He inevitably calls them a soldier (even when I try to correct for rank or branch of service) and says, “I have a question for you….” and simply spouts off.  What’s better is when he gets answers. Almost everyone takes a few minutes out to answer his questions and point things out to him.

The firemen let him go onto their truck. The Highway Patrol man let him, and Abby, crawl into his car and look around. The pilots answered questions and showed their wings (that were pinned on). The service technicians told them about their jobs and that they need to learn lots of math and science (thank you!!!). It is fabulous.

It’s not that you can’t ask these questions at the airshow, but the airshow has lots of exhibits and things going on. There’s more to do and see than you can do in one day. By making sure to go over early and just watch, and wait, and ask, we get lots more information.

It was also neat to see all the information on lift, thrust, drag, and parts of the airplane come to life for him. He asked one of the servicemen if his plane had ailerons (all planes have them). The serviceman said yes, and radioed over and had the jet move them up and down. That one experience made Nicholas’ day. Abby’s day was made when we saw a yellow plane in a hanger and she got to run around yelling “yellow plane.”

Once again I want to thank the California Capital Airshow for letting me have a press pass for tomorrow. We all thank you for the wonderful opportunity to bring our lessons to life-  which is what homeschooling is all about.

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