HILL AIR FORCE (News4Utah) – Eight children and their families from Make-A-Wish Utah visited the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base and earned their wings during a “Pilot for a Day” program Thursday.
Make-A-Wish grants the life-changing wishes of children battling a critical illness.
“It means a lot for these children to have a great day where they can feel like a pilot, but also just to feel like a normal kid for a while,” said Jenny Horton, volunteer manager for Make-a-Wish Utah.
The group started the day by receiving their very own fitted flight suits with embroidered name tags, patches, and badges from the 34th Fighter Squadron. The suits were hanging in lockers waiting for them, along with pilots from the Air Force’s first combat capable F-35A fighter wing.
In addition to getting flight suits, the group got hands-on with real flight equipment, including an advanced helmet, integrating night vision, noise canceling headphones, and a heads-up display projected onto the visor, which is tied into all of the jet’s vital systems.