Ambassadors to the National Flight Academy ,Pensacola

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Wolfpack Squadron


Chargers Squadron


Visiting Historic Pensacola

Visit to learn more about historic Pensacola. What a fantastic way to spend an afternoon!

Ryan our tour guide shows us the status symbol of sugar cane.

Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite!

Original plaster work in 1805 Lavelle House

Outside Christ Church (1832)


Beautiful reproduction stained glass windows. The originals are in St. Michael’s Church Pensacola.



Outside Christchurch with our host; Mrs. Nancy Fetterman

Outside Clara Barkley’s home; the Dorr House (1871)

Informal entertaining took place in the hall

Kerosene lit chandelier


Hair art to occupy the ladies!

St. Michael’s Church. Learn more about their cemetery restoration project here;

Stained glass windows

Visiting ATC (Air Traffic Control)

Getting ready for Shore Excursion from NFA to ATC NAS Pensacola

Squadrons gathering

ATC Tower



Overview of the ATC

Bird’s Eye View



Chiefs Kelley and Patrick Kirk of Irish and Scottish descent





Learning about radar and flight training



NFA on Facebook

Check out the National Flight Academy on Facebook here;
Like the page and you can see daily photos from Ambition. Here are some photos of the Aviator of the Future Ambassadors from Day 2. Enjoy!




Day 2 on Ambition

Today on Ambition we awoke at 6:30 am. We ate breakfast at 7:30 am and then received a tour of Hangar Bay 1 and the Museum. We went to see ‘The Magic Of Flight’ in the IMAX theatre and we enjoyed all forty five minutes of it! We learnt about the ‘Blue Angels’ who will be giving an air display on Wednesday! We had some lasagne and salad and then went to ready room 1 for briefing on flight. We finished the briefing and continued to JOC (Joint Operations Centre) and JIC (Joint Intelligence Centre). After dinner we went to JIC again and then commanded a flight before bed. All in all it was a rather exciting day! (Pictures to follow tomorrow). Kate Grealish.

Photos from Day 1 on Ambition

Orientation with Chief Officer Chip Yarborough

Welcome aboard Ambition!

Joint Operations Centre

Irish AXPs are interviewed by WearTV3

Flight Practice

Flying the Triad

Chiefs in the Mess Deck waiting to greet their squadrons

Chief Lonex says “Everything is A-Ok on Ambition today”.

Day 1 on Ambition!

What a day!!! It’s the day that we set sail on Ambition! Breakfast was at 9:30am and after that it was all go, go, go.
We got to try out the X-12 Triad simulators, an experimental aircraft that’s being tested and used on Ambition. We flew around Pensacola practicing formation flying, takeoff and landing on an aircraft carrier. Meanwhile four of us Irish AXPs got chosen to get interviewed by a big local television company to talk about our experience of America and the National Flight Academy so far. It was aired on prime time news and a link will be put up soon!
AXPs from all over America boarded all morning. There are an impressive 108 AXPs in total on board Ambition which is the most that the National Flight Academy has had this summer.
At 14:00 after a huge lunch, we set sail. One of the first things we did was break up into our different squadrons (a group of twelve AXPs) and meet our chiefs. After meeting everybody and introducing ourselves we sat down in the ready room where we were taught about the theory of flight by Operations Officer O’Rear who is of Irish descent. We each paired off with a flying partner and then it was time to go back to the hanger and fly some more! We had a few small exercises to fly that helped us get used to the controls and also we learnt about the different roles of the pilot and co-pilot. We had great fun and I don’t think we had any major crashes! But before we knew it, it was time to land our aircraft, shut down the engines and head up to the Joint Intelligence Center. The JIC is where all our missions are planned and prepared before we fly. Today we were taught how to create a flight plan and how to make the necessary calculations. Then we were taken to the Joint Operations Center (JOC) the room where all the communications and air traffic control operates from. We learnt how to use the radar and what to say on the radio to make sure that there are no collisions in the air.
After a quick dinner we were back in the aircraft or in the JOC for even more practice to fine tune our aviation skills and to experiment with the capabilities of the aircraft. At 21:00 we finished up and we spent time with our squadron making up our callsigns which is what we will be called for the rest of the week. We had a good laugh trying to get the right names for everyone. Even the chiefs had to get one.
It has been a exciting and eventful day aboard Ambition and with all our flying for the first time, using the radios, meeting new people and making new friends we are all truly wrecked so it’s time to get some rest and refresh ourselves for the early 06:30 start tomorrow!
So it’s goodnight from Ambition!
Eoin Shimizu.

Orientation with Chief Officer Chip Yarborough

Welcome aboard Ambition!

Joint Operations Centre

Irish AXPs are interviewed by WearTV3

Flight Practice

Flying the Triad

Chiefs in the Mess Deck waiting to greet their squadrons

Chief Lonex says “Everything is A-Ok on Ambition today”.

Interview of Ambassadors online

Ambassadors Eoin, Ruaidrí, Evan and Mia were all interviewed today by Wear TV3. The interviews will air during the news at 1700hrs and 1800hrs Pensacola Time. ( This is 11pm and midnight GMT.)
The web address to pick up the interview is


AXP Orientation time


The Pensacola beach

Today we were taken to the Pensacola beach by the National Flight Academy. The bleach bone sand roasted our feet as we walked across it. We put on loads of sunscreen even though most of us got a little burnt. It was great fun! Thanks to all our new friends from NFA!


By Colm and Kevin

Saturday 4th August photos

Pensacola is the city of five flags.









We’ve arrived!!

We were given a real Pensacola welcome tonight by Kathy, Hank, Chip, Teresa, Matt, Melody and Cody of the National Flight Academy!



Look at the newly renamed Flight Academy in our honour!

Everyone got their badges and luggage tags.


We were settled in to our quarters by Chiefs Melody and Cody.



Then, we enjoyed a pizza party on the mess deck!



We are all settled in nicely at the national Flight Academy, Pensacola.


Meeting Delta Pilot Chris Lauden

Pilot Chris Lauden got us safely to Pensacola from Atlanta with Delta on an MD88. We really enjoyed the 40 minute trip!

Our trip so far

Stop Over In Atlanta.

On Friday the 3rd of August we all met up in terminal two of Dublin Airport at 6 o’clock in the morning. The teachers gathered everyone’s passport and then we got our boarding pass. After that we had to fill out an immigration form. Once we had done all that we were ready for security and immigration.
When we cleared all that we got a quick bite to eat and we were ready to board the plane. The flight was 8 hours long and it was Flight DL177. We were flying with delta airlines and we thank them for a comfortable flight.

Larry, Clontuskert’s mascot goes mad in the duty free.
By Kate Kelly.

Stop over in Atlanta airport!

Here are some of us at Atlanta airport waiting for our next flight.




See you all soon!

The journey begins


Today we are heading to the National Flight Academy in Pensacola, Florida.
Check out the Aviator of the Future Ambassadors in Terminal 2, Dublin Airport, this morning.
Our A330 flight with Delta. Thanks Eoin for the photo!


Meeting in Galway Education Centre

The Aviator of the Future Ambassadors will meet in Galway Education Centre today, Wednesday 18th of June at 7.00pm.
We will be checking out some of the following information videos to prepare ourselves for our visit to the National Flight Academy in Pensacola:

The Science Squad – Episode 2 Story 1 – Graphene from New Decade TV & Film Ltd on Vimeo.

Visit to Atlantic AirVenture Shannon

Today we travelled to AirVenture in Shannon as guests of Jane Magill and Eddie Ryan to help us prepare for our visit to the National Flight Academy in Pensacola in Florida.
We had such a fantastic time. Check out some of our photos from the day. Thanks Jane and Eddie! We look forward to visiting you again to fly the Boeing 737 SIM when we return in August.
You can read more about AirVenture here:

Group with Jane and Eddie Atlantic AirVenture

Visiting the Museum

Outside the Boeing 737 Sim

Aviator of the Future Mascot Larry

Meeting Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Aviator of the Future Ambassadors

The Galway Education Centre has just signed a momentous agreement with the National Flight Academy in Pensacola, Florida, USA and are proud to announce that they are seeking 12 school children aged 12-15 to take part in the inaugural “Aviator of the Future” programme this summer! The first year will be treated as a pilot programme – open to students from Galway City and County only with plans to expand to a national programme in 2013.
For twelve lucky schoolchildren this will be the opportunity of a lifetime! They will fly to The National Flight Academy in the United States and take part in a special five day residency on board the NFA’s simulated training aircraft carrier,  Ambition. Ambition  is designed to simulate a modern aircraft carrier with three decks catering for everything from simulation and immersion centre spaces to academic spaces, mess decks and accommodation berthing.
This agreement between the Galway Education Centre and The National Flight Academy also marks an historic milestone as the successful Irish students will be the very first international students on board the  Ambition  taking part in this wonderful programme.
Every day during the six day programme will involve a unique mission. It all starts with a story – a heart pumping, adrenaline filled task with squadrons competing to successfully complete each mission. Whether it is a race or rescue, science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills are used along with critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork and communication to advance the teams. The week ends with a graduation ceremony to celebrate the students accomplishments throughout the week with awards, trophies and recognition taking centre stage for the last day.
The National Flight Academy is a subsidiary of The Naval Aviation Museum Foundation in the United States. In 1993, the foundation began focusing on youth education programmes which addressed concerns of declining science, technology, engineering and maths skills and standards in the USA. The Galway Education Centre have for some time also been running programmes such as FIRST LEGO League and The CREST Awards here in Ireland in an effort to also recognise and reward excellence in these important STEM subjects for Irish Students.
“To be in a position to offer Irish students an opportunity like this is truly a blessing!”, said Bernard Kirk, Director of The Galway Education Centre, “Through our work in the area, we are very aware of the high standards in STEM subjects among our students here in Ireland. To allow these children to have an experience of a lifetime which gives them a genuine taste for their own potential and shows them in real life situations the power and promise of STEM subjects is priceless. We are delighted with this new partnership and look forward to working closely with the NFA for a considerable number of years to come”. “The National Flight Academy is honoured to partner with the Galway Education Centre on this truly immersive educational programme.  We are thrilled to welcome the first international students to AMBITION for an unparalleled experience combining STEM with technology, simulation, team building and leadership,” said retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Gerald Hoewing, President of the National Flight Academy located in Pensacola, Florida, U.S.A.
Students interested in being considered to take part in “The Aviator of the Future” programme should email for an application form.

Closing date for applications is Wednesday June 27th 2012.

We know this partnership will provide a unique opportunity for the future to promote Mathematics, Science and Engineering in Ireland, as can be seen from the following YouTube:
Galway Education Centre, Cluain Mhuire, Wellpark, Galway.
Galway Education Centre Vimeo Channel