On Thursday, April 6, 2023, more than 400 Oklahoma aviation students from 19 schools across the state will gather at the Tulsa Air and Space Museum and Hangar 80, American Airlines, in Tulsa to explore various aviation and aerospace exhibits and career paths.
The official Oklahoma Student Pilot Day event—presented by the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC) in partnership with American Airlines, Tulsa Air and Space Museum, the Oklahoma Air National Guard, and Tulsa International Airport—will provide the students with the opportunity to learn about pilot careers and other aviation-related jobs.
Oklahoma was ranked No. 1 in the nation for the number of schools teaching the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) “You Can Fly” curriculum in 2022, and more than 75 schools are expected to teach the aviation course to their students in the fall of 2023 according to the event’s press release.
The Oklahoma Student Pilot Day event aims to help students explore the numerous career opportunities available in the aviation industry.
The event will feature various aircraft static displays, simulators, and exhibits at Hangar 80 and the Tulsa Air and Space Museum. In addition, representatives from American Airlines’ Tech Ops-Tulsa maintenance base will be available to share their experiences and discuss various careers where nearly half of the airline’s overall aircraft maintenance work is conducted. Representatives from American’s Cadet Academy will also be available to provide information about opportunities to join the program.
Retired Navy captain John Keilty and brigadier general Tray Siegfried will be the special guests at the event. Keilty is a 26-year retired Naval aviator who was last stationed at Tinker Air Force Base, where he served as the commodore of the TACAMO unit.
Siegfried is assistant Adjutant General, Oklahoma Air National Guard, and has served as commander of the 138th Fighter Wing in Tulsa. He is also Deputy Combined Forces Air Component Commander at Headquarters, 1st Air Force, Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, where he serves in conjunction with Operation Noble Eagle and the Homeland Defense mission.