News happening around Little Rock Air Force Base

News

Pilot for a day visits Little Rock AFB

(From left) U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Htyler Kelly, 19th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordinance Disposal technician, explains how an EOD robot works to James Rogers, 17, during his Pilot for a Day visit Oct. 3, 2016, to Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Rogers received the tour as part of the Pilot for a Day program, which provides children who have serious or chronic illnesses an opportunity to be part of a flying squadron for an entire day.

(From left) U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Htyler Kelly, 19th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordinance Disposal technician, explains how an EOD robot works to James Rogers, 17, during his Pilot for a Day visit Oct. 3, 2016, to Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Rogers received the tour as part of the Pilot for a Day program, which provides children who have serious or chronic illnesses an opportunity to be part of a flying squadron for an entire day.

(From right) U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Marcus Scriven, 19th Mission Support Group Fire Department firefighter, helps James Rogers, 17, operate the fire hose during his tour of the fire department Oct. 3, 2016, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Rogers received the tour as part of the Pilot for a Day program, which provides children who have serious or chronic illnesses an opportunity to be part of a flying squadron for an entire day.

(From right) U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Marcus Scriven, 19th Mission Support Group Fire Department firefighter, helps James Rogers, 17, operate the fire hose during his tour of the fire department Oct. 3, 2016, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Rogers received the tour as part of the Pilot for a Day program, which provides children who have serious or chronic illnesses an opportunity to be part of a flying squadron for an entire day.

(From left) U.S. Air Force U.S. Air Force Capt. Seth Lake, 314th Operations Group evaluator, adjusts an aircrew helmet for James Rogers, 17, as he dons a flight suit and aircrew accoutrements before stepping to the flightline for his Oct. 3, 2016, tour of Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Rogers received the tour as part of the Pilot for a Day program, which provides children who have serious or chronic illnesses an opportunity to be part of a flying squadron for an entire day.

(From left) U.S. Air Force U.S. Air Force Capt. Seth Lake, 314th Operations Group evaluator, adjusts an aircrew helmet for James Rogers, 17, as he dons a flight suit and aircrew accoutrements before stepping to the flightline for his Oct. 3, 2016, tour of Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Rogers received the tour as part of the Pilot for a Day program, which provides children who have serious or chronic illnesses an opportunity to be part of a flying squadron for an entire day.

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --

Team Little Rock invited a terminally ill Arkansas teenager to experience life as an Airman during the Pilot for a Day program Oct. 3, 2016, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark.

The Pilot for a Day program, began 26 years ago, varies base to base, but each have the same goal: to give service member’s the chance to be directly involved with the local community and allow children with serious or chronic conditions to experience a day in the life of a U.S. Air Force pilot.

“We have many things related to our mission that are just downright cool,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Seth Lake, 314th Operations Group evaluator. “Giving a child from the community who has been faced with so many challenges the chance to interact with those things in a one-on-one environment was just too good an opportunity to pass up.”

James Rogers, a 17-year-old diagnosed with end-stage renal disease, experienced what it’s like to be a pilot for a day. He was paired up with Lake as his wingman, who helped show Rogers the ropes. 

 “I hadn’t met James yet, so he was quiet at first,” Lake said. “The most exciting thing was seeing his enthusiasm increasing throughout the day.”

Leaving his day-to-day challenges at the gate, Rogers was dubbed a Combat Airlifter and tasked with the Combat Airlift mission.

“Regardless of his medical challenges, James is an outstanding young man with a genuinely kind and giving heart,” said Ali Miller, Camp Aldersgate CEO, a non-profit camp which Rogers annually participates in.

Upon his arrival, Rogers was issued a flight suit, complete with patches on each shoulder and a personalized name tape.

Upon donning an aircrew helmet before boarding a C-130J, the honorary pilot blended in on the flightline with the other aircrew.

Rogers received a personal tour of an active C-130J Super Hercules, and then experienced what all student pilots endure to become a certified pilot and flew a C-130J in the simulator.

With delighted laughter despite crashing the simulated aircraft, the new pilot learned the basics of flight. “I need more practice,” Rogers said.

Rogers also had the opportunity to witness the full spectrum of Combat Airlift operations.

Knowing Rogers’ passion for firefighting, coordinators included a special stop at the base fire department.

“He is a Junior Firefighter, and loves everything to do with firefighting,” Miller said.

After Rogers geared up, three firefighters helped him operate a firehose.

“It was a great opportunity for our guys to showcase our job and daily operations and help James live his dream,” said U.S Air Force Master Sgt. Mark Johnson, 19th Mission Support Group Fire Department deputy fire chief.

Rogers was the first member of the community for more than two years to participate in Team Little Rock’s Pilot for a Day program.

“I hope that the program can continue for years to come and have a meaningful impact on the lives of children in Arkansas,” Lake said. “Overall it was a success, I think James and his family had a good time, and it was a great experience for everyone involved.”

USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.

Photo Gallery: Week in Review

News Search