NEW CASTLE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Del. --
The 166th Airlift Wing welcomed Dover Public Library staff members Susan Elizabeth Cordle, Heather Bernat and Nicholas Coll to the New Castle Air National Guard Base on July 29, 2020.
The group live-streamed an episode of their "Tour a Truck" educational series from the wing’s C-130 Multi-Mission Crew Trainer. Tour a Truck is a spin-off from last year’s Touch a Truck.
"We still wanted to offer the program, but we knew the trucks, families, and kids could not make it out to the library this year due to COVID," said Cordle. "So, Miss Heather and I put our heads together to come up with a plan. When we first came up with the idea everyone was still staying at home and we thought getting to see where all the different ‘trucks’ live might help bring our viewers some comfort, and it would be a lot of fun."
Over the past eight weeks Dover Library has had the pleasure of going out to see trucks, snowplows, boats, fire trucks, helicopters, planes, and so much more, according to Cordle.
"When Dover Public Library reached out to the wing to video their Tour a Truck series, I suggested that they try our C-130 flight simulator," said Mr. Mitch Topal, the 166th Airlift Wing’s Public Affairs Specialist. "They weren’t disappointed."
After winning a game of rock-paper-scissors, Heather Bernat became the first of the group to fly the sim. After take-off, she flew a compass heading of 330° for about ten minutes, then followed the reciprocal course back to the airfield. To everyone’s amazement, Heather was able to line up with the runway and land the plane flawlessly on her first attempt.
"I don’t know what was better getting to "fly" or the friendly and energetic reception from the National Guard members," said Bernat.
Master Sgt. Steve Verdinelli, the Flight Engineer who runs the training simulator, invited flight crewmembers to act as SMEs to answer questions and describe their roles during a C-130 flying operations.
"I think the only thing which could have made it better was getting to fly in a real plane," joked Cordle.
Dover Public Library and the 166th Airlift Wing look forward to partnering on future community outreach efforts.