Students from Mount Isa’ newly-established Flight School will take to the skies this week for their first lessons.
Spearheaded by Traeger MP Robbie Katter, the flight school has already recruited 11 aspiring pilots while more than 50 people have signalled their interest in taking up flying later on or joining the school’s partnered aero club.
Mr Katter, a pilot himself, said he was prompted to push for the local flight school after the arduous time he had trying to obtain his licence away from home.
“As there were no options in the Mount Isa area, I did all my flight training in Townsville with Cleveland Bay Aviation,” he said.
“The team there are excellent however it was a challenge for me trying to complete my training so far from home.
“Getting your pilot’s licence is a full-on task to begin with, and having to travel so far for lessons and outlay extra money compounded this for me.
“I knew there was significant interest from the Mount Isa community in getting a local flight school off the ground so I am stoked to see it now happening.”
Mr Katter said Allan Duncan, from Barkly Aviation, was in the process of starting the local school and had provided two planes (a Cessna 172 and 182) for private hire.
Mr Duncan has recruited two trainers from Air Queensland Flying School, including chief flight instructor Doug Heath.
The flight school is currently accepting bookings to utilise these instructors from any aspiring pilots, and can cater for those who are absolute beginners through to those who just need to get their hours up or undertake line checks and endorsements
The first lot of lessons are being held this week, from August 17 to August 22, with one and two hour blocks available.It is recommended that beginners do a minimum of two hours for their first lesson to get a proper feel for being in control of an aircraft.
Attendees can do as many or as few lessons over the six days as they like, and can complete sessions in both the mornings and afternoons on the same day if needed.
Lessons will then continue every 4-8 weeks depending on pilot needs.
It takes a minimum of 20 hours of flying time to be able to obtain a pilot’s licence depending on each individual’s competency.
You can also email [email protected] to register your interest in joining the Aero Club.