HomeNewsArticle Display

560th FTS welcomes newest Pilot for a Day

Maj. Justin Stimets, 560th Flying Training Squadron instructor pilot, speaks with Megan Foster aboard a T-38 Talon during her “Pilot for a Day” orientation June 26, 2018, at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas.  The "Pilot for a Day" program invites children of all ages, military or civilian, to be guests of the 12th Flying Training Wing and its flying squadrons for an entire day. Doing so, the 12th FTW strives to give each child a special day and a break from the challenges they may face.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Joel Martinez/Released)

Maj. Justin Stimets, 560th Flying Training Squadron instructor pilot, speaks with Megan Foster aboard a T-38 Talon during her “Pilot for a Day” orientation June 26, 2018, at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. The "Pilot for a Day" program invites children of all ages, military or civilian, to be guests of the 12th Flying Training Wing and its flying squadrons for an entire day. Doing so, the 12th FTW strives to give each child a special day and a break from the challenges they may face. (U.S. Air Force photo by Joel Martinez/Released)

Airman 1st Class Conner Sanders, 59th Medical Wing aerospace physiology technician, prepares to spin Megan Foster on the Barany Chair during her “Pilot for a Day” orientation June 26, 2018, at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas.  The "Pilot for a Day" program invites children of all ages, military or civilian, to be guests of the 12th Flying Training Wing and its flying squadrons for an entire day. In so doing, the 12th FTW strives to give each child a special day and a break from the challenges they may face.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Joel Martinez/Released)

Airman 1st Class Conner Sanders, 59th Medical Wing aerospace physiology technician, prepares to spin Megan Foster on the Barany Chair during her “Pilot for a Day” orientation June 26, 2018, at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. The "Pilot for a Day" program invites children of all ages, military or civilian, to be guests of the 12th Flying Training Wing and its flying squadrons for an entire day. In so doing, the 12th FTW strives to give each child a special day and a break from the challenges they may face. (U.S. Air Force photo by Joel Martinez/Released)

Airman 1st Class Ckyree Campbell, 59th Medical Wing aerospace physiology technician, speaks about the altitude chamber to Megan Foster, during her “Pilot for a Day” orientation June 26, 2018, at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas.  The "Pilot for a Day" program invites children of all ages, military or civilian, to be guests of the 12th Flying Training Wing and its flying squadrons for an entire day. In so doing, the 12th FTW strives to give each child a special day and a break from the challenges they may face.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Joel Martinez/Released)

Airman 1st Class Ckyree Campbell, 59th Medical Wing aerospace physiology technician, speaks about the altitude chamber to Megan Foster, during her “Pilot for a Day” orientation June 26, 2018, at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. The "Pilot for a Day" program invites children of all ages, military or civilian, to be guests of the 12th Flying Training Wing and its flying squadrons for an entire day. In so doing, the 12th FTW strives to give each child a special day and a break from the challenges they may face. (U.S. Air Force photo by Joel Martinez/Released)

Megan Foster, sits on the wing of a T-6 Texan II, during her “Pilot for a Day” orientation at June 26, 2018, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas.  The "Pilot for a Day" program invites children of all ages, military or civilian, to be guests of the 12th Flying Training Wing and its flying squadrons for an entire day. In so doing, the 12th FTW strives to give each child a special day and a break from the challenges they may face.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Joel Martinez/Released)

Megan Foster, sits on the wing of a T-6 Texan II, during her “Pilot for a Day” orientation at June 26, 2018, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. The "Pilot for a Day" program invites children of all ages, military or civilian, to be guests of the 12th Flying Training Wing and its flying squadrons for an entire day. In so doing, the 12th FTW strives to give each child a special day and a break from the challenges they may face. (U.S. Air Force photo by Joel Martinez/Released)

Megan Foster, sits on the cockpit of a T-1 Jayhawk, during her “Pilot for a Day” orientation at June 26, 2018, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas.  The "Pilot for a Day" program invites children of all ages, military or civilian, to be guests of the 12th Flying Training Wing and its flying squadrons for an entire day. In so doing, the 12th FTW strives to give each child a special day and a break from the challenges they may face.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Joel Martinez/Released)

Megan Foster, sits on the cockpit of a T-1 Jayhawk, during her “Pilot for a Day” orientation at June 26, 2018, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. The "Pilot for a Day" program invites children of all ages, military or civilian, to be guests of the 12th Flying Training Wing and its flying squadrons for an entire day. In so doing, the 12th FTW strives to give each child a special day and a break from the challenges they may face. (U.S. Air Force photo by Joel Martinez/Released)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas --

In December 1994 the 560th Flying Training Squadron started the program “Pilot for a Day.” The program offers children with lifelong disabilities the opportunity to experience a day in the life of a U.S. Air Force pilot.

A representative from San Antonio Medical Center, San Antonio Children’s Hospital or other local hospitals nominates a child with a chronic health condition to spend the day with the flying squadron.

“We have close relationships with a lot of the hospitals downtown,” said Maj. Justin Stimets, 560th FTS C-Flight Commander. “If they have a patient they feel is a good fit for this, they’ll make a nomination.”

For 17-year-old Megan Foster it was her nurse who nominated her.

Since age 8, Megan has lived with Type 1 diabetes. Around November of last year, she began having physical difficulties due to an infected cyst on her spine, causing her to miss nearly three months of school. Within those months, Megan had various surgeries and procedures to remove the cyst.

Despite the challenges and setbacks she faced, she was able to finish her junior year and will begin her senior year this fall.

“She missed a lot of school so we had to wait till the summer for her to be able to do this,” said Thomas Foster, Megan’s father. “I think this is a great opportunity for her. Being retired Air Force, I know how rare and great this is for her to be able to experience.”

Throughout the day Megan was able to tour the 560th FTS building, the aerospace physiology building, control tower and various flight simulators.

She was able to see the various tests that pilots endure before flying an aircraft.

To add to the experience, Megan was suited up in a flight suit and shown three different static display aircraft, all with her name painted next to the actual pilot’s name.

“The spinny chair (Barany chair) was my favorite part, but I also like the flight suit because it feels like I’m wearing pajamas,” said Megan. “Overall it was cool to see everything.”