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Secondary school aviation program takes flight

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Secondary school aviation program takes flight
A new partnership between Rick Hansen Secondary and Coastal Pacific Aviation at Abbotsford Airport will provide students the opportunity to obtain their private pilot's licence while in high school.


June 8, 2010
Carey Fredericks

June 8, 2010, Abbotsford, B.C. – A new partnership between Rick Hansen
Secondary and Coastal Pacific Aviation at Abbotsford Airport will provide students the opportunity to obtain their private
pilot's licence while in high school.


Students who complete
the ground school course will be able to obtain their private pilot's license
after completing 50 hours of flight training with Coastal Pacific. Also, preferential
entrance into the Bachelor of Aviation program at the University of the Fraser Valley
will be provided to all Abbotsford School District students in this program who
successfully complete ground school after writing the Transport Canada exam.

"The aviation industry offers many opportunities
for young people to select a rewarding career" observes Abbotsford Board of
Education Chair Cindy Schafer. "The Rick Hansen Aviation Works Pilot Academy is
targeted at students who are interested in obtaining their private pilot's license
and working  towards a career in
aviation. This program is designed to allow students to maximize opportunities
for future career development while still in high school. It's exactly the kind
of program the Board of Education envisioned when it established choice career
programs, and provides a wonderful opportunity for our students."

Students will be instructed in ground
school, plus be introduced to critical thinking and analytical skills in
aerospace engineering, program management and maintenance, with added
instructional components from the Canadian Aviation Maintenance Council. Direct instruction will be at Rick Hansen Secondary while
aviation focused fieldtrips will be taken to airport facilities, including tours
of the air traffic control tower, Cascade Aviation, Chinook Helicopters and
Coastal Pacific facilities.

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Hansen Vice Principal Michael
Pearson, who has been instrumental in coordinating the start-up of the course ,
notes that "this Aviation program will encourage students to develop technical
skills required in the demanding aviation industry; it will create an interest
and awareness in aviation and aerospace careers in Abbotsford students, expand
pathways and provide training options for students, leading to a higher skilled
workforce.  It will definitely give
students in the program the opportunity to see the various aviation employment
opportunities in Abbotsford.  Also,
the course will allow students the opportunity to transition directly into UFV
in a specific program which is a big plus."