By Marcia Love
Interest in the Maple Creek Flying Club has taken off, and members couldn’t be happier.
The club is offering a flight school, with many people signed up. Courses haven’t been held in town for about 25 years, but Maple Creek now has a satellite school with Super T Aviation Academy of Medicine Hat.
Darcy Kusler, a member of the flying club, said the group is excited to have about a dozen people signed up.
“We’re delighted. A lot of times people seem to express a lot of interest, but when it comes down to getting it going it doesn’t work,” he said. “But this time we’re really pleased.”
The flying club decided to start the flight school as a way of igniting interest in flying, which in turn it hopes will mean more members. There are currently about 12 members, but Kusler noted they are getting older and would like to see younger people join.
“It just keeps the airport active,” he said.
Of the 12 current club members, only about half are still flying as many do not have their medical certification anymore.
While there was some interest from those 14 and up, the costs involved have deterred most. The majority of those signed up for the school are 30-50 years old.
Courses offered include licensing for private pilots, night endorsements to allow pilots to fly anytime, and upgrades from a private to commercial pilot’s license which allows pilots to fly for hire.
Terri Super, operations manager at Super T Aviation Academy, will be teaching the courses, which range from one-on-one flying time with her to theory taught in small groups.
One member of the flying club is upgrading his license while all other participants are new. Some are coming in from the Cabri and Tompkins area for classes.
Before the satellite school was opened, pilots had to travel to the city for training.
“Those of us that are currently flying have been biting the bullet and driving to Medicine Hat to get our extra stuff done, so this is much easier,” Kusler said.
He added anyone still interested in signing up may be able to do so and catch up if they contact him quickly. Kusler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.