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News > Eglin Aero Club provides flight path to license
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 Offers license programs for anyone with base access.
 Those looking to take a ride can sign up for 'fly-outs'.
 
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The makings of a pilot
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Bethany Whitmore, a pilot in training at the Aero Club, flies above Destin with an instructor to obtain her pilot’s license. The average time to get a Federal Aviation Administration 141 course license is 75 hours. Upon completion a pilot will earn a Visual Flight Rules Pilot's License for single engine aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman Anthony Jennings)
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Eglin Aero Club provides flight path to license

Posted 8/21/2009   Updated 8/24/2009 Email story   Print story

    


by 2nd Lt. Andrew Caulk
Team Eglin Public Affairs


8/21/2009 - EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- For anyone with the dream of flying, Eglin Aero Club offers a chance to fulfill those dreams. 

The club offers license programs for visual and instrument flight in single and multiple engine aircraft for anyone with base access. The average time to get a Federal Aviation Administration 141 course license is 75 hours. Upon completion a pilot will earn a Visual Flight Rules Pilot's License for single engine aircraft. 

"Because of our structured environment here, our pilots average 50 hours to get theirs, so we save our pilots quite a bit of money," said Mr. Riedel. 

Lessons average $100 per hour for fuel and additional costs. The club updates, rebuilds, and replaces their aircraft on a regular basis along with performing inspections to ensure passenger safety. 

"Our environment here is unique because of all of the air traffic in the area," said Mr. Riedel about training at Eglin. "Our pilots are usually far more experienced with radio communications when compared with pilots in other areas with the same number of flight hours." 

For Bethany Whitmore, a pilot in training with the Aero Club for her license flying has always been part of her life. 

"My dad was a pilot in the Air Force and he got me into flying when I was young," she said of her father who flew F-15s then 737s for Southwest Airlines. "My dad took me up in Cessnas at the Aero Club growing up. I figured I would complete the program because it is a great skill to learn and not many people get this sort of experience." 

For those without base access, but want to get involved with the Aero Club, the Civil Air Patrol is an option. The CAP has an adult program ranging for all ages. Adult members can work in ground operations, aeronautical education, and cadet development, according Pam Becker member of the Aero Club and a nearby CAP detachment. 

And for those just looking to take a ride in an aircraft can sign up for 'fly-outs' the club offers to its members. Club pilots take nearly all the aircraft and fly to a distant landing strip where they eat dinner or tour an area. 

"We flew out to the Grand Hotel and had a big dinner ready for us there. It was a lot of fun," said Mr. Riedel. 

For those interested in the Aero Club, call Mr. Riedel at 850-882-5148.



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