GARY, Ind. - More than 75 students from three Chicagoland high schools experienced the thrill of flight at Gary/Chicago International Airport Friday.
The students also met Tuskegee Airman Oscar Lawton Wilkerson as they learned about aircraft and flight during the event, which was sponsored by Eyes Above the Horizon and hosted by The Legacy Flight Academy and.
"We want them to know they can do anything they want in life," said Kenyatta Ruffin of Legacy Flight Academy. "And we use the example of the Tuskegee airmen - they were told they can't, they would fail. Obviously they proved them wrong."
Students got to hear from Wilkerson and examine the aircraft before they took flight.
"If you get a chance to fly early on, this might be your time, something you want to accomplish," Wilkerson said.
Once up in the air, students got a chance to take the controls.
"I don't have my pilot's license but I most definitely want to get one now," said Wendell Phillips Academy High School student Mercedes Green. "It was fun."
For other students, their time behind the controls was also their first time in an airplane.
"First time, I'm afraid of heights," said Wendell Phillips student Phylicia Rich. "It kind of freaked me out - but I'm alive."
For Green, the experience was one to remember.
"This is something I most definitely am going to take to heart," she said. "It's a once in a lifetime thing for people."