Pearson Field Education Center

Please note that the PFEC will be closed December 27th.

To inspire, educate, and promote the Golden Age of Aviation at Pearson Field.
To preserve, protect aircraft, aviation artifacts, and air operations at the first airport in the Pacific Northwest.
To honor the memory of our Aviators and Aviatrixes and recognize their contributions to aviation.
And to educate students of all ages of the many careers and opportunities in the field of aviation.

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  • School Tours
  • Girl Fest
  • Aviation Summer Camps
  • School Outreach Programs
  • Daybreak Youth Services
  • Open Saturdays
  • Model Gliders
  • Celebrate Pearson Field Day
  • De La Salle Outreach

Find us at 201 East Reserve Street, Vancouver, WA 98661

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More Information 


Free Saturday Programs

Free Saturday Programs

Click Here For A Flyer!

Come down to historic Pearson Field every Saturday from 1 - 5 p.m. to experience the Fort Vancouver National Trust’s Pearson Field Education Center. This free educational experience is open to the public and will feature our Flight Simulator lab, vertical wind tunnel, glider-building station, model glider build sessions, historic airplanes on-site for viewing, collections on display, and various ongoing educational programs that will propel students of all ages into the wonderful world of flight. Come experience the Golden Age of Aviation at the first airport in the Pacific Northwest and one of the oldest continuously operating airfields in the country.

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2015 PFEC Calendar of Events

PFEC Calendar2015

Education Programs

Kindergarten – 4th Grade

Introduction to  Flight

  • 4 forces of flight
  • 3 axis of flight
  • Vertical wind tunnel experiments
  • Magic School Bus DVD – Taking flight

5th grade – 8th grade

Aviation 101

  • 4 forces of flight
  • 3 axis of flight
  • Glider building activity
  • Flight Simulator Lab
  • DK Eyewitness DVD

High School – College

Basics of Flight and Careers in Aviation

  • 4 forces of flight
  • 3 axis of flight
  • Fixed Base Operation (FBO) tour
  • Careers in aviation
  • Flight Simulator Lab


Bring you scouts down to the Pearson Field Education Center to earn their aviation merit badges! Programs are available every Saturday, with reservations, starting at 10 a.m. A minimum of 10 scouts is required for the program; $18 per scout. 


To register for our educational programs, please email Deborah or call (360) 992-1815

Education Tour FAQ

When are educational tours offered?
Pearson Field Education Center provides tours Tuesdays through Fridays. Start times are between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

What is the minimum group size required for a tour?
There is a minimum of 10 students and one adult to every five children to book a tour reservation.

How should I schedule my tour?
To schedule a tour, please call 360-992-1818 or email laureano.mier@fortvan.org. Tours are scheduled a minimum of two weeks prior to the selected date. We are . non-profit organization and donations are always appreciated.

When should we arrive for our tour?
We will be ready to begin your tour at the time you selected. We are not generally able to start tours early. If you are running late please let us know as soon as possible. Tours more than 20 minutes late we will need to modify their tour to stay on schedule.

What if I need to cancel or modify my tour?
Groups can modify or change their reservation if one-week notice is provided. Groups may cancel their reservations but we ask for two day cancellation notice.

Do you allow service animals?
Service dogs are permitted at Pearson Field Education Center only.

Do you require chaperones?
Pearson Field Education Center is located on an active air field. We require chaperones to be ever vigilant in supervising and ensuring responsible behavior from their students.
Pearson Field Education Center has historic aircraft and artifacts. It is important to encourage our visitors to respect all exhibits and aircraft .

Open Cockpit Day

Stay Tuned For Open Cockpit Day Dates in 2015!

Come out to Pearson Field Education Center and have the opportunity to view our incredible collection of historic aircraft, climb into the cockpit of selected specialty airplanes and get a pilot's perspective from the controls. If the weather cooperates, volunteer pilots from Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter 105 and EAA Chapter 782, will offer free airplane rides to youth ages 8 through 17 with written permission from parents/guardians. Flights are scheduled on a first come, first served basis so youth and parents should arrive early to register children for a free airplane ride.

Check out this recap of our May 31, 2014 Open Cockpit Day!

Summer Camps

Pearson Introduction to Radio-Controlled Flight

Session 1: June 29 - July 3, 2015 


Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) safety codes and principles will be taught to all students participating in this fast-paced camp. Principles of construction of model aircraft, power plants, principles of radio-control systems will be covered. Students will receive flight training with AMA certified instructors at an AMA sanctioned airfield. Camp runs Monday – Friday, 9am -4pm on historic Pearson Field. Lunch, snacks and beverages are the responsibility of each student. Lab fee of $100 includes materials needed to construct, operate and own a RC airplane. Each student will receive a Pearson Field Education Center t-shirt.


Pearson Introduction to Aviation 101

Session 1: June 16 - 20, 2015 
Session 2: July 27 - 31, 2015
Session 3: August 24 - 28, 2015


This five-day camp introduces the student to the basics of flight, the principles of aviation, a visit to an air museum, a behind the scene visit to Portland International Airport. Camp culminates with the student operating the controls of a flying airplane out of historic Pearson Field. Hands-on activities include building gliders, use of the flight-sim lab, open cockpit and familiarization of various aircraft and a historical segment on history of the first airport in the Pacific Northwest and the Golden Age of Aviation. Camp runs Tuesday – Saturday, 9am – 4pm on historic Pearson Field. No lab fees are associated with this camp. Lunch, snacks and beverages are the responsibility of each student. Every  student will receive a Pearson Field Education Center t-shirt.


Camas Washougal Aviation Association Summer Camps

Session 1: July 14 - 18, 2015 
Session 2: August 11 - 15, 2015



To register for summer camp, please download the 2015 registration form and email to deborah.bessette@fortvan.org, fax to 360-992-1810, or mail to the General O.O. Howard House, 750 Anderson Street, Vancouver, WA 98661.

Learn About The Douglas World Cruiser Trip

The Douglas World Cruisers

Check our our video series on YouTube!
Bob Dempster Douglas World Cruiser Series: My First Project (Part 1 of 6)
Bob Dempster Douglas World Cruiser Series 2 of 6 (Part 2 of 6)
Bob Dempster Douglas World Cruiser Series: The Engine (Part 3 of 6)
Bob Dempster Douglas World Cruiser Series: The Expert (Part 4 of 6)
Bob Dempster Douglas World Cruiser Series: Physiological (Part 5 of 6)
Bob Dempster Douglas World Cruiser Series: Tail (Part 6 of 6)

In 1924, six daring countries entered in a race to see who would be the first country to successfully fly around the world: Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Great Britain, and The United States. The United States entered four specially made airplanes known as the Douglas World Cruisers in this international rally. The Army Air Service team was comprised of eight brave men in four Douglas Aircraft named after U.S. cities. Number one was the Seattle. Number two was the Chicago. Number three was the Boston, and number four was the New Orleans.

The airplanes were capable of a top speed of 103 mph, and a cruise speed of 53 mph. The planes weighed 4, 023 pounds, had a length of 35 feet, and a wingspan of 50 feet. The Douglas World Cruisers were not a streamlined design with their huge radiators out front and powered by a V-12 Liberty engine and swinging a Hamilton Standard propeller. The airplanes would transition from wheels to floats during this around the world mission.

The around the world flight was to commence April 6, 1924 from Sand Point, Washington. Tragedy quickly struck the team when the Seattle was lost in Alaska. The Boston was lost in the Atlantic soon after, leaving the Chicago and the New Orleans being the two original airplanes that would complete this quest. They arrived at their destination 175 days after beginning the trip that grabbed worldwide attention and recognition for America and the team.

Pearson Field enjoys the history of the Douglas World Cruisers as they visited Pearson three times during the preparation of the trip and even after the trophy was awarded. Pearson will once again have the distinction of being visited by a Douglas World Cruiser in 2015, when Bob and Diane Dempster recreate the 1924 circumnavigation of the world 90 years later.

Dubbed the Seattle II, the Dempsters have spent nearly 12 years meticulously recreating a beautiful replica of our beloved World Cruisers. Bob and Diane both have aircraft design backgrounds: Bob developing avionics for Boeing, and Diane working on Boeing’s 737 programs, recently receiving her doctorate in education and leadership. Bob and Diane hold a FAI and NAS record for their around the world flight in a J-3 known as the Howdy.

The last segment flown on this flight will be from Pearson Field to Boeing Field in September of 2015. All the pilots on Pearson Field are sending their best wishes to the Dempsters for their incredible commitment to recreate this amazing part of American aviation history. We wish them a safe journey and thank them for including Pearson Field, the first airport in the Pacific Northwest, in their itinerary. As the Douglas World Cruiser pilots would say, “Let’s Go.”

DouglasCruiser webPresident Coolidge (left) with aviator Lt. Lowell Smith on wing of the Douglas World Cruiser, the Chicago, and Secretary of War Weeks in Bollingfield Washington D.C. June 09 1924.