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School’s Room 18 Meets 40 Squadron

Room 18 students from Whenuapai School beside a Hercules (Back row L to R): SQNLDR Pete Munn, CPL Willa Young, LAC Gill Lindsay, FLTLT Paul Cockerton, and Mrs Marie Waters (teacher). AK 09-0584-024
Room 18 students from Whenuapai School beside a Hercules (Back row L to R): SQNLDR Pete Munn, CPL Willa Young, LAC Gill Lindsay, FLTLT Paul Cockerton, and Mrs Marie Waters (teacher).

By FLTLT Paul Cockerton

Number 40 Squadron recently played host to Room 18 from Whenuapai School as part of their term project, ‘Flight’.

Before the children got their hands on a C-130, they were treated to a lesson in aerodynamics and propulsion theory. The show-and-tell, provided by the Tech Support Fixed Wing Propulsion Cell, was a real crowd pleaser. The children were particularly interested in the various fan and turbine blades on show. But even thousands of dollars of single-crystal blade could not compete with the old and trusted balloon to demonstrate thrust.

Squadron Leader Pete Munn and I then escorted Room 18 and their parent-helpers to No 40 Squadron. The children were met by Corporal Willa Young and Leading Aircraftsman Gill Lindsay, who spent an hour and a half answering an onslaught of questions that came faster than a belt-fed machine gun!

The highlight for most of the students was the visit to the cockpit. Corporal Andrew Brooks kept a close eye on the children as they sat in the crew seats, dreaming about flying the mighty Hercules. No doubt they were remembering their ‘Aerofoil Theory 101’ lesson as they poked at the control column, while imitating engine sounds … or maybe not.

Room 18 really enjoyed their visit to No 40 Squadron and were full of praise for Air Force personnel. As well as providing knowledge and fond memories, CPL Willa, LAC Lindsay and CPL Brooksy have helped to strengthen the RNZAF’s enduring links with the local community.

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