Whidbey Students Fly to Museum of Flight

May 01, 2007 | Rick Lawler

When it comes to field trips for Whidbey Christian School in Oak Harbor, Wash., forget traditional modes of transportation.

Six of the school's 11 students, and teacher, Dan Nickolatos, flew from Whidbey Island's airport via Kenmore Air to Boeing Field in February for the last day of the Leonardo da Vinci exhibit at Seattle's Museum of Flight.

The six young aviators earned their 40-minute flight by exceeding a fundraising goal for the school (and presenting signed consent forms from their parents). The remaining students were driven to the museum by parent volunteers.

"The fundraiser ended the day before the field trip, so Kenmore Air went the extra mile to arrange for the flight and additional transportation in Seattle," said Alice Lawler, Home and School leader.

At the museum, seventh-grader Ashley Winter liked the interactive games and hands-on activities with models and some of da Vinci's lesser-known inventions such as a diving apparatus, an articulate robot and a water-powered saw.

Elsewhere in the Museum of Flight, students toured or saw hundreds of aeronautic craft, from a reproduction of the Wright Brothers' first airplane to the Lockheed M-21 Blackbird, the fastest piloted jet ever flown. Sixth-grader Levi Sprague liked going inside a presidential jet that served presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon.

Teacher Nickolatos said this was an unforgettable field trip and "an educational experience in every respect." After all, how often do students use an airplane to fly to a tour of the Museum of Flight?