Jordon Gyapong, '19, the club’s Founder & President, conceived the notion of the Gael Aviators in his freshman year.
From using desktop computers at the Lower School in conjunction with the original Microsoft Flight Simulator software and Logitech sidesticks and headsets, we moved to the Upper School, where Mr. Poccia resurrected a flight simulator he built some time ago. That simulator included realistic flight controls--including a yoke, thrusters, flaps, and rudder/brake pedals--and integration with the SmartBoard.
In the spring of 2018, Jordon managed to get Iona College to donate a $5,000 state-of-the-art flight simulator, which is the same one used for universal flight training all around the world. We now have a strong group of core members who "fly" regularly with the Gael Aviators.
The club's membership has expended through close collaboration. Additionally, they have created unique experiences, including arranging visits from impressive guest speakers: an active Airline Transport Pilot and a recruiter from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Planned field trips for the 2018-2019 academic year include: the Rhinebeck Airshow in the Fall, a visit to the Operations Center at Westchester County Airport with special behind-the-scenes tours, and a trip to the Intrepid during Fleet Week in the Spring.
Several graduates have gone on to attend flight school and earn their pilot's licenses. In August, Patrick Burns, '18, is going on to Embry Riddle Aeronautical Academy.
In addition, we have several students who are actively pursuing their flying licenses at Westchester County Airport, or who plan to fly with the Military.
Mr. Poccia has been a private pilot since 1978; and later became a glider pilot.
Mr. Vitacco is a former Civil Air Patrolman.
The Executive Board Roster for the 2018-2019 year is as follows:
Faculty Moderator- Mr. Poccia
Guest Moderator- Mr. Vitacco
President- Jordon Gyapong
Vice President- Angelo Santos
Co-Secretary- Nicholas Scazafave
Co-Secretary- Avery Iorio