Tallahassee-Leon County High School Inspires, Trains Students for Careers in Aeronautics
Teaching flight has changed.
While three of Godby High School teacher Col. Jeff Spraggins’ aviation students hovered a drone over a ping-pong table last week, the 30-year veteran Air Force pilot and instructor explained how technology affects how he trains future pilots.
“The big change is the cockpit displays,” Spraggins said. “The basics of flying haven’t changed at all, the automation and management of the systems have changed.”
Spraggins vividly recalls when GPS was implemented in flight — and how awesome a development it was.
He graduated from Reese Air Force Base in Texas in the mid-80s after attending Auburn University in his native Alabama. Following three overseas tours with the U.S. Air Force, the last of which was as an air attaché in Bolivia — a diplomatic post generally held by high-ranking officers — Spraggins returned to Reese AFB as a pilot instructor.
“They’d come in fresh out of their civilian training, with very little hours, and we’d train them to be a military pilot in one year,” he said of the rewarding experience of being a flight instructor.
These days, Spraggins has traded Reese for the halls of Godby High School, where a unique partnership has grown into an impressively comprehensive program and a student favorite.