“A true passion for aviation is planted when you are still very young, and that is why I love sharing my passion with youngsters when they visit the airport,” says Eric Nel, Kishugu Aviation Spotter pilot.
Nearly 300 children from Laerskool Nelspruit’s Nellie Miere and Curro visited the Nelspruit airfield over the space of four days as part of their “Modes of transport” excursion. The children were all aged between four and six years, and all their faces bore the same expression of excitement once they started their tour of the airport. The tour started at the airport control tower. The youngsters then visited the HALO hangar where they witnessed the helicopter take-off to collect a patient. The kids were treated to a fire awareness talk and drill by the Nelspruit Base Working on Fire firefighters. Then followed a talk by Eric about aerial firefighting next to the AT802 Bomber aircraft. The kids ended their exciting tour with a picnic on the Kishugu Aviation Training Organisation (ATO) lawn adjacent to the runway, from where they got to view takeoffs up close taking.
“There is nothing more rewarding than seeing children’s faces light up with excitement when they see a plane taking off or coming in for a landing,” Eric explained.
Kishugu and NAM will be identifying three dates in 2019 which will be specifically identified for school tours to visit the airfield and offer a comprehensive tour of the airport. One of the dates will most likely include the Lowveld Air Show Scholars day which normally falls on the Friday before the air show.