Nicholas gets a behind-the-scenes look at the United Airlines training facility.
When I was 6 years old, I started a business called Creations by Nicholas. My business and I were featured on the national TV show, “Good Morning America.” We had to wake up at for a 3 a.m. live shot! It was so much fun being on TV, and at the end of the segment they presented me with a prize to visit the United Airlines headquarters in Denver, Colorado.
Fast forward three years, and I cashed in on my prize. My family and I were flown to Denver for a special tour of the United training facility (and they don’t often do tours).
First, we checked out the simulators, machines that replicate the experience of flying an aircraft in a realistic way. The United simulators are used for a variety of purposes, including flight training, research, and entertainment. They have all the buttons and switches pilots use when flying. My family and I learned that the simulator could challenge pilots with different types of flying conditions, like going through bad weather, allowing them to practice and perfect their skills in a safe, controlled environment.
Next, we got to see the landing slide and rafts that planes have in case of emergency. It was neat to see, but I wouldn’t want to experience using one in a real-life scenario.
Our guide taught us that after pilots go through an initial and intensive training program, they earn their wings and become an official flight pilot. This is a very special moment in a pilot’s career, and it’s celebrated with a wing ceremony. We got a behind-the-scenes look at a ceremony, and my brothers and I pretended to get our wings, too.
There’s also a cool museum displaying historical items of United Airlines over the years. We saw model planes, an old training simulator, and things they used on older planes.
At the end, we were gifted cool United swag! The entire experience was awesome learning all about a unique profession. And, to top things off, we stayed in The Ritz-Carlton, Denver’s new Presidential Suite! It was fun especially because they had a whole “glamping” setup for me and my brothers.
Nicholas Bubeck is an Epic Kids monthly columnist and CEO of creationsbynicholas.com. You can follow his adventures on Instagram at @creationsbynicholas and @mamaandmyboys.