Family, friends, and the base community got the chance to see what instructor pilots, student naval aviators, and support staff do every day during Training Air Wing 4’s Family Day at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Jan. 25.
The event included ground-based flight simulators, virtual reality trainers, demonstrations, and a chance for guests to visit the wing’s four training squadrons to speak with staff and see U.S. Navy aircraft up close.
Training Air Wing 4 Commodore Capt. Kevin Delano, a native of Sanger, California, kicked off the event, which drew a crowd of around 100. He encouraged the group to ask questions and explore the Flight Instructor Training Unit facility.
“We had an incredible turnout today,” Delano said. “What a great opportunity for them to come out and see what we do here; to understand what our students are going through, what their husbands and wives, and mothers and fathers are involved in day in and day out.”
Age wasn’t a factor — adults and children alike smiled ear to ear as they got a taste for flight in the simulators.
“It’s just fun for the kids to get in the seat and get to ‘fly’ these airplanes,” Delano said. “To get to see the excitement in their eyes when they fly a loop or land on a carrier.”
Sharing that excitement of flying is a big part of what brings the Naval Aviation family together. Marine 1st Lt. Leonardo Cubias, a student naval aviator assigned to the “Rangers” of Training Squadron (VT) 28 invited his girlfriend, Stephanie Razo of Robstown, Texas, to attend so she could see what it was all about.
“I liked the simulators,” Razo said. “They’re very different from just hearing them described to you, actually seeing for yourself.”
Cubias, a native of Houston, is a prior-enlisted Marine with seven years under his belt as a flight crewman technician. Working on MV-22 Ospreys sparked Cubias’ interest in becoming a pilot, he said. He has completed the ground-based and simulator portions of the training syllabus and is preparing for his first flight in a T-6 Texan II single-engine turboprop aircraft.
Training Air Wing 4, established in 1972, is one of five air wings under the Chief of Naval Air Training. It comprises four training squadrons: the “Boomers” of VT-27, the “Rangers” of VT-28, the “Wise Owls” of VT-31, and the “Stingrays” of VT-35, all of which include Navy Reserve component squadron augment units. Student naval aviators receive basic flight training in the T-6B Texan II at VTs 27 and 28, while VTs 31 and 35 provide intermediate and advanced flight training in T-44C Pegasus multi-engine aircraft.
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