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I’ve had the pleasure of being the Guided Tour Coordinator for the Museum of Aviation Education Department for nine years now!

I would have to say that my favorite part of the guided tours is taking groups into the C-130A Hercules fuselage, located on the second floor of the Eagle Building. It never fails, whether the group is young or older, that I always hear several gasps when I tell them that we are going inside the C-130 fuselage.

Nose of the museum’s C-130A Hercules fuselage in the Eagle Building.

Interior of the C-130 fuselage. Visitors can strap themselves into the red seats and enjoy a short video showing paratroopers and aerial resupply operations.

The other day I had some 2nd graders and it was no different from any other time. When I announced that we were going inside the fuselage, the gasps began. But this day I also heard a little whimper. I looked around and it was a boy, about to cry because he was scared to go inside the plane. He was saying “I don’t want to go, I don’t want to fly!”

I went over to the boy and tried to console him. I assured him that I wasn’t going to fly that airplane because I didn’t have my license to fly! I also assured him that I would NOT take him into anything that was going to be scary. Somehow, someway, I convinced him and we walked around the corner together to enter the fuselage and there it was…THE GASP! I looked at him and his face was full of surprise but with the cutest grin you have ever seen.

As the saying goes… “Just another fun day at the office.”

Candi guides a group of children during a tour of the C-130 fuselage. Visitors can’t go inside the cockpit but they can look in through a plexiglass panel.

Candi James uses a C-130 toy model to explain parts of the aircraft to a group of young visitors inside the C-130 fuselage.

Happy young visitors inside the C-130.

– Candi James, Museum of Aviation Guided Tour Coordinator