The first time Anthony Moore flew in an airplane was also the first time he helped land one.
And now he's in love.
"When I got on that plane, I didn't want to get off," says the 16-year-old Randallstown High School student, who took his first flight Tuesday on a four-seater Cessna. "Now I want to take up flying as a career."
Anthony is among 47 area high school students who are attending the Flight Academy, a summer camp at Morgan State University designed to expose teens to the aviation industry. During the past two weeks, some of the students have helped fly single-engine planes at Martin State Airport, handling one set of the dual controls alongside instructors.
Other students have toured the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala., and the Baltimore-Washington International Airport.
hTC At Morgan, fees for the students are $50 or $100, depending on the course. The remainder of the costs are subsidized by the Federal Aviation Administration Northwest Airlines, the Organization of Black Airline Pilots and Morgan's National Transportation Center, says academy director Ozzie Ross, a USAir pilot. The program runs on a budget of $20,000 to $30,000, using many volunteer staffers, he added.
Open to students in the city and surrounding counties, the camp is in its second year.
Two groups of participants spend most of a weeklong program on the ground learning about aviation careers.
Another group of four students spends two weeks in the air learning to fly. Yesterday, each of the four in that group was supposed to fly a single-engine airplane for the first time without an instructor. But poor visibility, strong winds and thunderstorm warnings spoiled the occasion.
With the camp's graduation ceremonies to be held today at Morgan, the four would-be soloists won't get their moments alone in the air. But in Hangar Four at Martin State Airport no one complained about a missed opportunity. They'd already had many good days.
"I got real high up above the clouds," said Christy Stewart, 16, of Randallstown High School. "It was really pretty."
Christy, who is attending camp for the second year, logged five hours, steering and controlling the plane with an instructor.
Morgan's program is one of 90 Aviation Career Education camps held nationwide and one of four in Maryland. Others are at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, the College Park Airport and a site in Fort Washington.
Started in 1988, the camps are designed to encourage teens to consider careers in aviation, said Phillip Woodruff, FAA aviation education division manager. Last year 7,500 high school students participated, over half of them minorities and women.
"I wanted to learn more about aviation because I might want to pursue a career," said Veronica Lockett, 15, a Frederick Douglass Senior High School student. "It's nice to be in the clouds. There's some parts of the Earth you never noticed."