CRYSTAL LAKE – High School District 155 is partnering with Lake in the Hills Airport to offer interested students an opportunity to earn a private pilot license.
A limited number of spots are available for the course, which gives students the opportunity to study for and pass the written test required by the Federal Aviation Administration before flight time with an instructor can start.
Both the district and the airport see the partnership as mutually beneficial. The district can give students an opportunity to begin work pursuing jobs in the in-demand field of aviation.
“This course will provide a strong foundation of knowledge and increase students’ exposure of aviation,” Superintendent Johnnie Thomas said in a statement. “Students interested in aviation can advance in high school, allowing them to reduce costs in college.”
As for the airport, the course can help promote flying to a new generation, manager Mike Peranich said.
“One of the challenges the aviation industry as a whole and the airport face is keeping pilots flying – maintaining an influx of new ones,” Peranich said. “The earlier we can reach kids and involve or interest them, the more they know as adults, and they may make the decision earlier to fly.”
Besides pilot, the course is aimed for students who are interested in pursuing the careers of flight operations support, dispatcher, engineering and working for the FAA.
Chicago-based Boeing, the world’s largest aviation company, last year projected a demand for nearly 1.5 million pilots and technicians for the worldwide commercial aviation industry over the next 20 years. For North America, the estimate predicts a need for 112,000 new pilots, 127,000 new technicians and 151,000 new cabin crew employees.
The course will be taught by a commercial pilot and an FAA-certified ground instructor. Classes will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Mondays from Aug. 21 to Dec. 18 at Crystal Lake South High School, giving students the necessary knowledge to pass the written knowledge test.
The cost of the course is $350. The district is hosting an informational meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday in the library of Crystal Lake South, 1200 McHenry Ave.
The FAA requires a minimum of 40 hours of flight time on top of passing the test in order to get a private pilot license.