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New Alberta flight school takes to the skies

Jan. 21, 2014, Drayton Valley, Alta. - Is aviation something you’ve been interested in? If so the Drayton Valley Flying Club (DVFC) has just the thing for you as it prepare to bring flight school to the area starting in February.


January 21, 2014
By Drayton Valley Western Review

“We’re just a group of people that are really passionate about
aviation,” shares flight club president Guy Christie as to why they
wanted to bring the course to Drayton Valley. “I’m always talking about
airplanes and people have expressed an interest so I looked into it and
we’ve actually got a lot of interest. So we decided that although
Drayton’s not big enough for a full time school we looked at getting a
satellite school.”

 

This is not the first time the club has brought a course like this to
the area. Several years ago approximately six people took the course
with two completing it to where they got licensed to fly.

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This time around Christie says the interest far outweighs that, showing how popular the pastime is throughout the province.

 

“It’s very popular, there’s lots of little hidden grass strips
around,” shares Christie. “Actually Drayton Valley has a good number of
planes that come into it on a regular basis and there’s lots of flying
clubs around. There’s one big one in Lacombe, who we kind of share stuff
with, and there’s a big one in Calgary. They’re everywhere.”

 

Beginning on Feb. 4, the program starts with ground school. Meeting
three times a week for 10 weeks, the course is highly informative and
prepares individuals for flight instructions should they want to
continue on.

 

“It’s pretty intensive,” says Christie of the schooling. “You have to
learn everything from meteorology to navigation and airplane systems.”

 

“We’ve got a freelance instructor that comes out here and he’ll give
classes three nights a week for 10 weeks because you need 40 hours for
your ground school and then you’ll do flight training for people who
want to go further with it.”

 

For those who have never considered getting a pilot’s licence but
would like to learn more or just have the opportunity to try it out, the
DVFC will be holding an open house on Jan. 25.

 

The day, which will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., will give people the
opportunity to meet and talk with flying enthusiasts, as well as get in
the air and see what it feels like to sit at the controls of a small
engine airplane.

 

“Our flight instructor is going to have two airplanes and we’re going
to take you up for a half hour flight in the left seat and he’ll let
you fly the plane so you can get a feel for it and see if you’re
interested in doing it,” says Christie of the day.

 

For those who take advantage of the opportunity to get their flying
licence locally, or even just get to fly during the open house, they
will get to experience what Christie loves about it.

 

“The freedom,” he says. “Just being up there, no roads, no ditches,
no lines in the road, no worrying about somebody passing you at 100
km/hr and not being attentive. It’s so much safer and it’s just freedom.
I call it the ultimate off road vehicle.”

 

“We’ve got a jewel here for an airport. It’s a beautiful airport.
There are not a lot of airports that have 5,000-foot runways that are
well maintained and well lit. We need to use it before we lose it.”