Tyler Mangas, age 8, can still recall the flight he took a few months ago, before everything with COVID-19 hit. Nervous, and unsure of what to expect, he brought his stuffed animal bunny with him and held it close. However, once he was up in the air flying a plane with a pilot by his side, his mother and the stuffed animal bunny took the backseat. Tyler was overjoyed and excited, his smile grinned from ear to ear. In that moment, Tyler did not miss a beat. He felt like he was on top of the world, like he could do anything.
The Mangas family found their path to Flight1 through their case worker when they adopted Tyler. Immediately, they felt like it would be a great fit and opportunity for Tyler to do something really incredible that most kids his age never get the chance to do.
Tyler tells everyone about his flight with Flight1. After he did it, he told everyone and bragged about it. He was so proud of himself and still talks about it all the time. Now he loves learning new facts about flights and information about planes, he even looks for planes up in the sky. Flight1 offers such a great program, they really took him through all the steps and showed him he could do things that he never thought he could. He is really looking forward to the next time he can be back up in the air.
-Felicia, Tyler’s mom
So far, Tyler has done one flight and one stimulator. He absolutely cannot wait to do even more with Flight1 once it is safe again. It made him really happy though when he received a letter from a pilot with pictures, part of the pilot letter campaign to help make the kids in the program still feel connected to Flight1 during this time of uncertainty. Tyler was beaming with excitement when he read what the pilot had to say and loved seeing the pictures.
When asked about Flight1, Tyler said, “I love Flight1, like the whole thing. I can’t wait to go back up at night time. Being a pilot would be really cool, there are so many different types of jobs you can do as a pilot. I love it so much.”