Aviation Camp

Dave Poole, Halle Poole and Bill Castlen stand beside Castlen's plane Friday after Castlen flew Halle home from Auburn.

Wiregrass Works worked for Halle Poole.

A student at Eufaula City Schools, Poole, 14, attended an event for the organization, which connects students and adults with career development opportunities, a few months ago and found a booth for the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Dothan chapter. Poole later joined the aviation enthusiasts group’s Young Eagles program.

“I’ve always been interested in flying and everything to do with it,” she said.

Poole’s membership in the group got her a scholarship to attend an Auburn University aviation camp this week. The camp provides students the chance to learn more about careers in education, including piloting, air traffic controlling, engineering and more.

For Poole, the high point of the camp was when she got the opportunity to take the controls of an airplane under the supervision of a pilot.

“I like how you can see everything,” she said. “Everything you see is in 3D, it’s a different point of view.”

Bill Castlen, an instructor pilot who works with the local EAA chapter, said giving opportunities to students like Poole is a way for pilots to pass along the opportunities they were provided.

“I got into this when I was in high school,” he said. “I had a friend who was taking flying lessons and I tagged along. Back then you could get a few paper routes, and that’s how I paid for lessons.”

Poole said that she hopes to become an aeronautical engineer and work for NASA, perhaps even becoming an astronaut.

“It’s a different experience getting in the back of an airplane, watching your 14-year-old daughter at the controls, but she’s an overachiever in everything she does,” Poole’s father, Dave Poole, said.

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