Locals will have heads in the clouds

Grand Forks residents take flights with private pilot licenses

Kevin Marks

Kevin Marks

A number of people in Grand Forks will be taking flight in the next few years.

Fourteen people started ground school in March 2010 and of that group, four students (James Traynor, Paul Henriksen, Bruce Penner and Kevin Marks) have completed their training, and now have their private pilot licences, and five (Kai Penner, Rod Stinger, Manfred Bialon [helicopter], John Wheeler and Cynthia Garnett) should have completed their training in 2012.

On average, the students need to fly for 75 hours and have had completed 80 hours of ground school to be recommended by a school or freelance instructor to write a Transport Canada exam or fly in a flight test.

It is a lot of hard work, studying the ground school material and flying off the time for the tests but the time in the air is very rewarding as prospective pilots can take in the scenery in the area – the mountains, lakes and valley floors are breathtaking.

Training can continue for private pilots to a level of having their transport licence – this can take years to complete.

There are many types of aircraft and individuals can learn to fly on – hot air balloons to  helicopters, they are all fun to fly.

Ultra light aircraft training will be offered by Western Aviation Services Ltd. at Grand Forks Airport in 2012.

The ultra light licence takes less time to complete and is just as rewarding.

People that are interested in flying can call 250-442-8616 or 250-443-4183 for more information.

submitted by James Traynor