Cessna kicks off third annual Discover Flying Challenge

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Cessna Aircraft Company, a subsidiary of Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. company (NYSE:TXT) today kicked off of the third annual Discover Flying Challenge (DFC) during a launch event in Wichita, Kan. Eight DFC participants will take part in this unique internship promoting interest in general aviation and engaging aviation enthusiasts across the country.

Six of the interns will pilot Cessna 172 Skyhawk aircraft for summer-long excursions across the United States. The other two interns will assist in scheduling and dispatching the pilot interns during the program

“The Discover Flying Challenge continues to be a coveted opportunity for the participants and we have another strong group ready to continue the tradition of sharing our passion for flying,” said Joe Hepburn, senior vice president, Piston Aircraft. “The enthusiasm of our interns is contagious, and we’re thrilled to get them in the air in their customized Cessna 172 Skyhawks.”

The DFC participants helped kick off this year’s Discover Flying Challenge with a launch event at Textron Aviation. After individual introductions, the pilots performed a synchronized engine start before departing for their respective regions around the U.S.

The pilots’ progress and scheduled events can be followed at dfc.openairplane.com, which provides detailed itineraries and a map of appearances.

"OpenAirplane is proud to be part of the Discover Flying Challenge. Pilots use our mapping tool to find available airplanes across the country. Now everyone can use the same technology to find these events. It's a great way bring the experience a new audience," said Rod Rakic, co-founder at OpenAirplane.

Past Discover Flying Challenge participants have continued their careers in aviation after the internship, including many who have accepted positions with Cessna.

For more information on the Discover Flying Challenge participants, you may read their biographies at cessnadfc.com or follow them through the Discover Flying Challenge Facebook page. You may also learn more about the Discover Flying Challenge by following @Cessna with the “#DFC14” hashtag on Cessna's Twitter page

DFC Participants

In order from left to right, Zach Floto, Matt Paarlberg, Allison Hoffman, Alex Krochin, Keven Lenahan, Michael Smith, Daniel Tou, Julia Hamlin 

DFC Kick Off Ceremony Photo 1

Joe Hepburn, senior vice president of Piston Aircraft, wishes the Discover Flying Challenge participants luck on their journeys during the send-off ceremony on June 10. 

DFC Kick Off Ceremony Photo 2

After spending nearly two weeks together in orientation, the Discover Flying Challenge participants gather for a goodbye.

DFC Kick Off Ceremony Photo 3

Each Discover Flying Challenge pilot will fly specially-branded Cessna Skyhawks to their respected regions and spread passion for general aviation.

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