Local Soldiers take flight with pilot training
June 20, 2009
<b><i>Flight School Hawaii introduces Soldiers to the joys of flying small aircraft </i></b>
HONOLULU - The sounds of plane engines roaring above echoed in the cool breeze as Sgt. David Wills, 732nd Military Intelligence Battalion, walked towards a Cessna N5329L aircraft outside of Flight School Hawaii, Inc., here, recently.
"I'm ready for the first solo flight," said Wills. "Flying gives you such an amazing feeling, especially when you're completely isolated from everything else. All you can do is concentrate on your training."
The pilot training for Wills has been much like his military career.
"It's a very well-structured course," said Wills. "I have that Army work ethic, so I know what I need to be to be prepared to succeed."
Wills stated he wanted to get a head start on his career and sought pilot training outside of the military.
Although he plans on remaining in the military until retiring, seeking additional training and obtaining his private pilot's license has helped him prepare for his future career.
"I want to become a warrant officer," said Wills. "Additional training will help me achieve this goal, and this school is catered towards the military."
Flight School Hawaii has offered programs to the community and members of the armed services since 1997.
The assistant chief instructor and owner of Flight School Hawaii, Lt. Col. Timothy Thrasher, U.S. Army Forces Japan, Support Unit, opened the school to introduce other Soldiers and interested participants to the joys of flying.
"I took my first flight in 1983 and fell in love," said Thrasher. "It's a feeling of complete freedom."
Thrasher explained each program is set for an individual's needs. A private pilot's certificate allows pilots to fly recreationally or for their own business use. Additionally, students can continue their education to become a certified flight instructor or commercial airline pilot.
Becoming a commercial pilot is a future goal for 1st Lt. Pete Cox, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment.
"I'm thinking ahead," said Cox. "I've always wanted to become a pilot, since I was a kid.
"I know what I want to do in the future, so I'm working on getting the proper training now," he added.
Cox explained flying was a unique and practical skill, and the rewards go beyond job training.
"It's clichAfA to say flying is liberating, but it is," said Cox. "You have control over your view. You can fly anywhere and see everything."
Cox stated that his education, as well as his time spent in the Army, prepared him for the course outline.
"This is a very structured and disciplined course, much like anything in the military," said Thrasher. "Our program is tasked to standard and governed by the Federal Aviation Administration."
The programs at Flight School Hawaii educate students on the rules of flying, the physical skills needed to become successful and the practices for safe flying.
Like any complex activity, becoming a pilot is very challenging, Thrasher said.
"But that's part of the fun," Thrasher added.
For more information, contact Flight School Hawaii, Inc., at 808-837-7767 or visit <a href="http://www.flightschoolhawaii.com">www.flightschoolhawaii.com</a>.