Chief of Naval Air Training Hosts Virtual Field Trip for Texas Elementary School class

12 May 2020

From Ensign Beau Nickerson

A student naval aviator shared her aviation dream with a local first-graders during a virtual school field trip to NAS Corpus Christi, May 8.

On any given day in Corpus Christi, you can hear the rumble of T-6 Texan II and T-44C Pegasus trainer aircraft buzzing through the sky as students embark on their Naval Aviation careers. For many of those students, becoming a naval aviator has been a lifelong dream. One student naval aviator shared her dream with a local first-grade class during a virtual school field trip to Naval Air Station Corpus Christi flight line, May 8.

Ensign Serena Hart, a native of Sacramento, California, hosted students from E.E. & Jovita Mireles Elementary School via a 30-minute videoconference at the request of the students’ teacher, Sharla Arvizo.

Hart escorted the group through the “Rangers” of Training Squadron (VT) 28’s hangar and gave students a close-up look at the T-6B Texan II.

“When I was young, I saw the Blue Angels and thought they were superheroes, but I never thought could do that,” Hart said. “I just didn’t know that you could fly jets for the Navy as a career. No one told me. I didn’t learn till later that anyone can be a pilot if they’re willing to put in the work. I’m so excited to have had this opportunity to talk to the kids, because maybe they’ll remember that. Who knows? We might see these kids in the fleet down the road.”

The students learned about all of the hard work and academics required for flight training. Hart showed them how to pre-flight the aircraft, and talked about the importance of safety when flying. Finally, students had the opportunity to ask questions about flight training and aviation in general.

Arvizo has been a teacher for 5 years and said adapting to the new normal due to COVID-19 has been challenging.

“Getting to digitally take my students out of their homes for this field trip was an amazing experience,” Arvizo said. “Many of the students have parents with connections to the base. The kids see the planes flying overhead all the time at recess, and to give them a firsthand look at what goes into the process of being pilot is really something that they will remember. This was perfect and I am so thankful Ensign Hart took the time to do this. It made a real difference to my class today.”

Hart, or Miss Serena as the children called her, is a recent VT-27 Primary flight training graduate and is awaiting jet pilot training at Training Wing 2 onboard NAS Kingsville, Texas.

Chiemelie Nwosu, a student whose enthusiasm inspired the field trip, was very excited to show Hart his drawing of an aircraft, emphasizing the fact that it had two engines.

“Ever since we moved from Africa and he took his first flight he has been obsessed with flying,” Chiemelie’s father Odera Nwosu said with a laugh. “We travel all around the world, and I think his favorite part is getting on a plane. I love that my son has the opportunity to see the Navy’s aircraft and learn more about something he’s clearly so passionate about.”

Headquartered in Corpus Christi, CNATRA trains the world’s finest combat-quality aviation professionals, delivering them at the right time, in the right numbers, and at the right cost to a naval force that is where it matters, when it matters.

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