Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, is in the final weeks of the 2013 Discover Flying Challenge (DFC), a unique summer internship program for seven aviation students, designed to generate awareness for partnered charitable organizations and general aviation.
As part of this program, Cessna selected five not-for-profit organizations in an effort to raise awareness for charitable causes: American Red Cross, Experimental Aircraft Association Young Eagles, Special Olympics, United Way and Veterans Airlift Command.
The six pilots have their schedules managed by the seventh DFC intern stationed at Cessna. Throughout the program, the interns document the experience through their individual Facebook and Twitter accounts. The DFC schedule can be followed through SocialFlight, a website and mobile app providing detailed pilot itineraries and mapped appearances. The charity experiencing the most social engagement during the course of the DFC will receive a $25,000 donation from Cessna.
Amie Dugan, director of Marketing and Communications for Special Olympics, is thankful for the exposure her organization is gaining from their involvement. “The Discover Flying Challenge not only allowed Special Olympics athletes across the country to learn more about aviation, it is evident that interacting with our athletes and learning more about the mission of Special Olympics is having a profound impact on the pilots,” said Dugan.
The challenge kicked off on June 15 at Strother Field in Winfield, Kan. The pilot interns and their six customized Cessna 172 Skyhawk aircraft departed to different parts of the country to participate in numerous volunteer opportunities and attend events sponsored by the community partners.
“I have truly enjoyed learning about the goals of our community partners, volunteering with them and helping to raise awareness for their causes,” said Ryan Todd, Cessna pilot intern and aviation flight technology student at Eastern Michigan University. “Thanks to Cessna, I have met so many great people and shared the joy of aviation and flight training with diverse audiences. It has been a rewarding experience that will stay with me long after the Discover Flying Challenge internship is over.”
“Since day one it has been a pleasure to work with such a great group of individuals and see firsthand the amazing things our community partners are able to achieve. I am thrilled I had the opportunity to raise awareness for so many good causes,” said Lucas Worthen, pilot intern and graduate of Florida Institute of Technology. “This Cessna internship has been an amazing experience. It gets better and better by the day!”
“The 2013 Discover Flying Challenge is a unique way for Cessna to give back to the community,” said Jodi Noah, Cessna’s senior vice president of single engine and propeller aircraft. “I am incredibly proud of our interns and the scope of awareness they generate for our community partners through the DFC program. They have really connected with the core of the Cessna values through interaction with our community partners, and have used their passion for aviation to bring awareness to some great causes.”
Visit cessnadfc.com for biographies of the Discover Flying Challenge pilots.
Cessna is the world's leading general aviation company. Since its inception in 1927, Cessna has designed, produced and delivered nearly 200,000 airplanes around the globe. This includes 6,500 Citation business jets, making it the largest fleet of business jets in the world. Today, Cessna has two principal lines of business: aircraft sales and aftermarket services. Aircraft sales include Citation business jets, Caravan single-engine utility turboprops, single-engine piston aircraft and lift solutions by CitationAir. Aftermarket services include parts, maintenance, inspection and repair services. In 2012, Cessna delivered 571 aircraft, including 181 Citation business jets, and reported revenues of $3.111 billion. More information about Cessna Aircraft Company is available at cessna.com.
Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems. More information is available at textron.com.
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