Lift - Spring 2012 - (Page 20)
A l u m n i i n Acti o n
By K e l ly C u C u l i a n s K y P r at t
Christopher Walton (’82, PC; ’84, WW), forefront, instructs Eric Horton on the intricacies of aircraft operation during a November meeting of Explorers Post 352.
Teacher, Trainer, PiloT
Christopher Walton (’82, PC; ’84, WW) inspires future aviators
LIFT SPRING 2012
hristopher Walton (’82, PC; ’84, WW) describes teaching as one of the most fun and rewarding parts of his life. As a flight instructor at Embry-Riddle’s Prescott Campus in the 1980s, he taught college students the ins and outs of flying. Now a first officer with Delta Air Lines, he shares his knowledge and experience with teenagers exploring aviation as an occupation. A resident of Chandler, Ariz., Walton put his love of teaching on the shelf for a while. As a young pilot, he was busy building his career, first at Northwest Airlines and then at Delta. About 10 years ago, a chance encounter with a bulletin soliciting volunteers for an Aviation Explorers Post plunged him back into teaching—this time as an instructor for youth ages 14 to 20.
Designed by the Learning for Life organization, Explorer Posts around the country offer young people real-world experiences in various career fields. Explorers Post 352 in Mesa, Ariz., offers a hands-on curriculum that exposes youth to basic aviation maintenance and flying—and includes flight lessons on a privately owned Piper Cherokee 180D. The Explorers pay an annual fee to participate and receive a discounted rate for flight hours. Many students come in with little confidence or think they need a certain foundation in advanced mathematics or science before they take control of the yoke, says Walton, who is the chief flight instructor and oversees ground school for the post. While having a good education helps, Walton, who learned to fly at Embry-Riddle in 1978, says he shows them that becoming a pilot is an attainable goal.
Photos by Jill Richards
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Lift - Spring 2012
Lift - Spring 2012
Letter from the President
Wings of Legacy
Home on the Range
Giving to Embry-Riddle
Alumni in Action
Lift - Spring 2012