Youth wins Top Gun award

GARDNERVILLE -- Corbin "Fish" Zumpft, 9, is flying high after winning the Top Gun award at Aviation Challenge California.

This week-long camp is located in San Joaquin Valley, Calif., and offers hands-on training with high performance flight simulators, 3G centrifuge, aviation curriculum, land and water survival training and lazerball.

Corbin's mom, Pat, said he went with his grandfather to the pilot/co-pilot program last year and this year he was the youngest at the Mach-1 camp.

"He's been interested in flying since he could talk," she said.

During the competition Corbin said he and his co-pilot "Snowball," had to fly a mission, do a friendly fly-by and then engage in a dog fight.

"You can't use missiles, only bullets and lasers," Corbin said. "You get nervous knowing you're in the Top Gun finals."

The camp also taught Corbin about the history and rules of flight.

"The different competitions were my favorite part," he said of the July 20 win.

Corbin said he wants to be a fighter pilot when he grows up, Navy or Air Force.

Next year he plans to participate in the Top Gun Right Stuff camp.

"It's just like the stuff real right stuff pilots do," Corbin said.

Aviation Challenge California attracts children from across the United States and is dedicated to educating and encouraging youth to pursue careers in the math and science fields.

Revenues generated from this and other camps benefit the U.S. Space Camp Foundation, a nonprofit organization.


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