MDC alumna Suzette Rice is the executive director of Wings Over Miami. Alumna Shares Love of Aviation Suzette Rice’s love of aviation was born at home. The MDC alumna’s father, a career mechanic for Pan American airlines, frequently brought her to his workplace to see the aircraft he repaired. “He used to take me out to the 36th Street Pan Am Miami repair hangar when I was growing up, so I saw the planes in a way most people don’t get to experience,” Rice remembered. Inspired at an early age to help others, Rice began volunteering for local organizations like the March of Dimes at the age of 12. Over the years, she has combined her dedication to service with her love of aviation and is now the president of Wings Over Miami Air Museum. “Our museum has an educational side and a flying aviation side. So, when we do student tours, we are providing the linkage between the military history in our exhibits and the planes in the hangar. We slip some aviation education in there as well!” Wings Over Miami resides in a working hangar at Miami Executive Airport. The group has on display about a dozen planes, both military and civilian, that are on loan from aviation enthusiasts. Among the aircraft on view currently are a Navy T-28, a Ryan PT-22, a T-6 Texan and even a Chinese CJ-6 trainer. Proudly housed in the hangar is an American warbird favorite, an F-14D Tomcat, one of only 11 still in existence. Wings Over Miami hosts the annual Holiday Flight to Remember, organized by MDC’s Eig-Watson School of Aviation. At the party, Santa flies in on a plane so he can distribute gifts to children. In addition, Wings Over Miami has hosted a drone workshop for an MDC aviation course.
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