What To Expect On Fly Days
Each student will be notified of their Fly Day date, check-in time and location by their teacher 1-2 weeks prior. Fly Days may take place at one of two Tucson-area airports. Students are asked to arrive at Fly Day in small groups, at an assigned time. Please plan to arrive at the airport no earlier than 10-15 minutes before this time. After checking in, students will have photos taken, then be assigned to a volunteer pilot and escorted out to a small plane. The flight is approximately 30 minutes per student (many times we have 2 students in the plane, switching seats half way through, for a total flight time of about an hour), with each student being able to handle the controls for 15-20 minutes. Upon landing, students are awarded a t-shirt, photo with their pilot, and certificate of achievement. Plan to be at the airport about 3 hours. **Some of these established procedures may change to allow for social distancing and sanitizing high-touch areas.**
Safety is always our utmost priority, therefore, it is possible that the Fly Day will need to be rescheduled due to weather or other factors. We always endeavor to give as much warning as possible. Communication regarding postponed/rescheduled fly days may be found on our website and through your child’s teacher.
Your Pre-Flight Checklist
Tell us how we're doing! Evaluations included in students' notebook
Donations are welcome on Fly Day
Have your child eat a light breakfast (emphasis on light)
Each child must have a signed Release of Liability form
Please be patient! There can be lulls in the day
Bring a camera for your child to take pictures during their flight
Safety has always been the number one priority for the program. Since being founded in 1986, there has never been an injury at a Wright Flight Graduation Fly Day. Not a single aircraft has been involved in an accident. Not one student, teacher, parent, volunteer or pilot has been injured.
While all the pilots are volunteers, they are all personally screened by either Robin Stoddard or one of the Wright Flight pilot leaders. The standards held for a Wright Flight volunteer pilot exceed those required by the FAA for a private pilot certificate. Thus, we help ensure that all pilots flying are more than competent in the aircraft that they fly. Most of the pilots are either current or retired commercial or military pilots.
Lastly, another reason Wright Flight maintains a perfect safety record because we do not fly in poor weather. Dozens of Fly Days have been postponed over the years due to weather. As disappointing as it may seem at the time, the experience of flying is ultimately more enjoyable for everyone in good weather.
When Wright Flight was founded, the scheduling of each Fly Day was contingent upon a pool of volunteer pilots who owned planes, specifically single-engine light aircraft. This precluded many competent pilots, who may not own such an aircraft, from flying for the program. To solve this issue and ensure each graduate received their flight, Wright Flight purchased its first airplane in 1998. Currently, Wright Flight owns, operates, and maintains three Cessna 172’s.
Wright Flight still welcomes and needs pilots who would like to fly their own airplane as 10 or more pilots may be needed each Fly Day to safely fly all the children in a timely manner. If you are interested in flying for Wright Flight, please contact us.
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS A FLY DAY?
The Fly Days are held at the Wright Flight Hangar at 2000 E. Airport Drive, Tucson, AZ 85756 or at the Marana Regional Airport at 11700 W Avra Valley Rd, Marana, AZ 85653.
WHAT TIME DO I SHOW UP?
Your teacher will instruct you when to arrive at the Terminal.
CAN MY PARENTS FLY WITH ME?
No, for insurance reasons, only the students can fly. Additionally, the right to fly has to be earned!
HOW IS MY DONATION GOING TO BE USED?
Donated funds are used to maintain aircraft, provide scholarships to students in need, print curriculum materials, provide student t-shirts and graduation photos and pay for Fly Day aircraft fuel.
CAN I BRING A CAMERA ON THE AIRPLANE?
Yes, in fact we encourage you to bring a camera. The pilot can take pictures of you while you fly. Also, you can bring any electronic device that can be used as a camera, including a cell phone or tablet, for the purpose of taking pictures.
SHOULD I EAT BEFORE I FLY?
We recommend that you eat a very small breakfast before coming out to the airport but avoid foods that tend to make you queasy during any type of travel. You may have to wait for some time before you fly so we don’t want you to go hungry. But eating a lot of food before you fly including carbonated beverages may make you more susceptible to air-sickness. Also, you will get refreshments AFTER you fly.
WHERE DO FLY DAYS TAKE PLACE
They take place at the Executive Terminal at Tucson International Airport or Marana Regional Airport depending on the location of participating schools and other factors.
CAN I SIGN UP MY CHILD INDIVIDUALLY?
No, students must be signed up through their schools.
CAN I FLY IN THE SAME AIRPLANE AS MY FRIEND?
Possibly. Often two students will fly in the airplane at a time. To better your chances of being paired, sign in together. We cannot always accommodate such requests and student/aircraft/pilot assignments are at they discretion of the Fly Day Flight Dispatcher.