Inaugural ground flight school takes of
Written by Administrator
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 23:52
by Caleb Stento
As the school year comes to an end so does the fledgling year of the ground flight school in Ouray. The very unique program was developed by Certified Flight Instructor John Lockhart. Both Lockhart and teaching partner Bill Swartz, who is also a certified flight instructor, have volunteered their time all year to teach a group of kids in Ouray.
The students in the Ouray High School class range from freshmen to seniors and are 14 to 18 years of age. A 3.5 grade point average is a must for entry into the class. Throughout the year, they have learned aircraft systems, aerodynamics, aeronautical navigation, rules of flying and much, much more. “It's a pretty intense course,” Swartz said. He likened it to standing in front of a fire hose and turning in on full blast. In fact, after successful completion of this course, students will not only have four college credits to their names, but they will be qualified to take the written pilot's exam.
During the Plaindealer's interview with Swartz students individually pored over maps, planning a cross country flight. This will serve as one of the final grades in the class. According to Swartz, they have to develop a successful flight plan that covers everything, including weather, fuel consumption, engine performance and several other in-flight variables.
On Wednesday May 9 students scheduled a chance to put into practice all they have learned this year. The class heads to Montrose airport to get some actual flight time in. Each student will be taken up individually and will get a chance to take over the stick in-flight and attempt a landing. It's pretty incredible that this young group of students has received this practical education throughout the year and even more so that they get to put it to use.
Demand is looking good for the program to return next year. There are already several students enrolled for next year's class.
Students in the Class: