Pilot for a Day Program Information
Published February 22, 2008
Who is eligible?
Any child who has a serious or chronic condition that has robbed them of some of the joy of their childhood.
How can I refer a child?
If you would like to refer a child for the "Pilot for a Day" program, please call (701) 451-2525
The child and accompanying family members are invited to tour as many of the wing and base facilities as can be reasonably done in 1 day. The itinerary can change from child to child based on the child's condition, age, or desires. The following events are representative, but not all inclusive. The child and family are met at the front gate by the host pilot, Security Forces and a photographer from the Multimedia Center.
The assembled group then boards the base van and departs for the squadron with Security Forces escort, where they have breakfast, donated by Krispy Kreme.
The group arrives at the squadron where the child changes into a flight suit or flight jacket and is sworn in as an "honorary USAF pilot for a day". The "pilot" then receives a "hands-on" tour of the squadron's life support shop.
The "pilot" is then given a tour of the base and aircraft. The host pilot serves as the guide for his/her assigned aircraft.
At the next stop, the "pilot" gets to try on a set of NVGs and then fly the F-16 simulator for an hour (or whatever can be afforded).
Lunch is hosted by Pizza Hut at the Fargo Air Museum. Following lunch, the "pilot" is taken on a tour of the control tower. The tower controllers talk about what they do, will give a tour of the tower and allow everyone to listen to tower and ground frequencies.
The "pilot" then loads into a security forces car for a "code 3" (lights and siren) ride to the fire department for a complete tour, which includes truck rides and putting out a "fire".
Upon completion of their "training", the honorary "pilot" reports to a Wing Officer's call for introduction to the wing and presentation of mementos from host squadrons. The child and family are then escorted to the front gate and goodbyes are exchanged.
Photos from the day's events are developed by the photo lab and are put into a photo album by the host pilot and presented to the child approximately 2 weeks after the tour.