By Southern Alberta Newspapers on November 5, 2019.
The Prairie Rose School Division’s Dave Rozdeba South Alberta Flight Academy saw its first student take flight at the end of October.
Grade 12 Eagle Butte High School student Emily Stock had the opportunity before any of her peers to take flight at the Medicine Hat Regional Airport because she went into the program with a private pilot license.
“It was really cool,” said Stock. “It was a new plane that I hadn’t flown before. That was awesome.
And I had a new instructor. I have my private license that I got already through cadets, and this program is just helping me get my commercial private licence.
“They’ve been super accommodating because my peers right now are working on their private licenses. My situation was a little bit unique, but the school and Super T Aviation have been amazing and accommodating.”
She trained in a Cessna 150 and the plane she took in the air was a Cessna 172, which Stock thought was a bit bigger of an aircraft but with similar controls.
Stock says she has been participating in the class requirements with the weekly meetings, survival training and the history of aviation with her classmates.
“Since I have my license there wasn’t a lot of things that I had to do before,” she said.
Her interest in aviation stemmed from growing up with her grandpa and dad having their private pilots’ licence.
“My dad and I fly a lot together,”she said.
“When I was 12, I joined Air Cadets and I was interested in the aviation stuff in that program.
“In 2018, I got my pilot glider license through the cadet program and in 2019, I got my private pilot license through the cadet program.”
She has friends in the flight academy who are also in the cadet program.
Stock says she mentors them, in addition to answering any questions other students may have.
Jimi Ricci is a teacher with the flight academy and says Stock is a nice addition to the academy.
“Emily is in a unique situation because she already obtained her private pilot’s licence just this summer. We talked to Super T Aviation and she expressed an interest in the program,” said Ricci.
“We asked them if there is something we can do for her to individualize the program and they thought ‘Yeah, we can get her to work on her night rating and get her to start the ground school for her commercial pilots license.’ Once she found out she would be able to do that, she jumped at the chance.”
Ricci says Stock has been a great role model for the other kids just with her experiences through Air Cadets.
“It’s really motivating and exciting for the other kids,” he said.
Students are also building an RV 12 airplane from scratch which covers a lot of modules for program credits.
The plane will be flown upon completion.
The flight academy is a three-year program starting in Grade 10 where students start with ground school before learning about wilderness and first aid training, as well as building a radio aircraft.
As the students progress to their second and third year, they’ll become more active in flying. In Grades 11 and 12, the students will fly 35 hours each year to obtain their private pilot’s licence.
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