Flight school for high school students opens at Bishop International Airport

High school students in Crosswinds Aviation's new program at Bishop International Airport learn about flight-based careers. (Photo by Bishop International Airport)
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FLINT (WJRT) (9/10/2019) - High school students in Genesee County have a new option for a unique education.

Crosswinds Aviation opened a flight school geared toward teens in partnership with the Genesee Career Institute. The first class of 30 students began studies on Monday.

Organizers hope the school will get more students interested in aviation careers as the United States faces a serious shortage of pilots.

“We are in need of young aspiring aviators and we are very hopeful Crosswinds Aviation will help spur excitement in our region about aviation career opportunities,” said Nino Sapone, interim director at Bishop.

Crosswinds students get an introduction into many aspects of the aviation industry, including 10 hours of free flight simulator time and computer-based flight training.

Crosswinds has two other locations in Michigan. Owner Matt Dahline said half of the students there pursue aviation careers.

"And many of them wouldn’t have otherwise been exposed to aviation,” he said.

Kelcie Stevens, a senior at Grand Blanc High School, joined the class to expand her interest in aviation and learn more about the industry.

“I really want to fly a plane even if I can’t be a commercial pilot, but I would like to,” she said.

Austin Sawicki, a senior at Flint Powers High School Senior, was on a waiting list for the class.

“I’ve wanted to be a pilot for as long as I can remember," he said. "My mom found out about this class and I wanted to sign up immediately.”

See the Crosswinds Aviation website or call 517-552-1101 for more information on the high school program.