Flight school opening in P.A.

Kristen McEwen
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High interest in Saskatoon flight centre prompts Mitchinson Flight Centre satellite school to open in Prince Albert

Chief flight instructor Reed Willison likes to brag that the view from his office is pretty spectacular.

Mitchinson Flight Centre chief flight instructor Reed Willison explains at an open house on Tuesday what students can expect while obtaining their private pilot license at the new satellite flight centre opening at the Prince Albert Airport this April.

Flying was a bit of a career change for Willison as he didn’t start flying until he was into his 30s. “I had jobs that I enjoyed, however every time I saw an airplane flying over, I had to look at it and imagine what it was being inside that airplane,” Willison said.

“I wish I would have done it when I was 19,” he added. “Someone told me once that the next best time is now, so I decided to take the plunge and made the career change ... it’s been a great adventure for me.”

After starting to fly in 2008, he became a flight instructor in 2013. In 2015, he became the chief flight instructor for Mitchinson Flight Centre.

The Saskatoon-based Mitchinson Flight Centre held an open house at the Travelodge on Tuesday to determine how many people would be interested in signing up to obtain their private pilot license when the new satellite school opens at the Prince Albert Airport in April.

Nearly 30 people attended the open house on Tuesday.

“We’ve found that there’s lots of students in Prince Albert that have either at some point had some flight training and they want to complete that training, or they want to right from scratch, get themselves a private pilot license,” Willison said. “That’s a need that Prince Albert hasn’t been able to fill in the last few years.”

The satellite school will be launching out of the Transwest Air hangar at the Prince Albert Municipal Airport -- named Glass Field after Floyd Glass. Floyd Glass was also the father of Mitchinson Flight Centre part owner Dan Glass. 

“One of our owners, Dan Glass, has roots in Prince Albert,” Willison said. “So this is close to home for him.”

Willison noted that before the flight centre announced they were opening a satellite school in Prince Albert, many flight students made the commute to Saskatoon to attend classes.

“We have a fair number -- probably almost a dozen students that travel to Saskatoon to do their flight training,” he said. “That was part of the recognition for us that all of these students were making the trip.”

Willison added that the flight centre saw that there were many people who expressed an interest to start flying. Instead of making the three-hour long round trip, students will be able to spend that time training in Prince Albert.

At the moment, the Mitchinson Flight Centre plans to start the Prince Albert school in the first week of April.

“Everybody, in my opinion, deserves to know how to fly and experience what it’s like to be inside the cockpit of an aircraft and to see that view that we get to see,” Willsion said.

For more information visit www.flymitchinson.com or contact Reed Willison at 306-244-6714.

@KristenMcEwen • kristen.mcewen@paherald.sk.ca

Organizations: Prince Albert Airport, Mitchinson Flight Centre, Flight school Travelodge

Geographic location: Saskatoon

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