For some students at Sisters High School, there’s no such thing as “fear of flying.” That’s thanks to a unique flight science program the school has offered for the past five years.
Sheryl Yeager is a certified flight instructor and the flight science teacher at Sisters High. She says she’s incredibly excited about the school’s flight program.
“I pinch myself every day. I can’t believe how lucky we are. Our kids are just amazing, they’re taking off, literally, like crazy, and just to be able to offer them this opportunity is really unbelievable,” Yeager said Friday.
Right now, the school has the only aviation program in the country with ground school training, flight training and an FAA-certified flight simulator available for student use.
And the students are using it all the time, including Central Oregon Community College student and Outlaw Aviation flyer Tyler Head.
“It helps it just helps you get the feel rudder control, just to get the feel of the flight controls and the feeling of flight,” Head said.
Sisters High School student George Chladk said he loves flying and wants to be a commercial pilot. He said the flight simulator very helpful.
“It’s a really cool way to train on things you couldn’t do in the aircraft and also get extra training outside the aircraft. It’s not as expensive and you get a lot of experience,” Chladk said.
The flight simulator is the newest addition to the school’s 5-year-old flight science program. It was donated by COCC, and allows students to practice emergency procedures, as well as landings at airports around the world.
“It’s the real deal and it does get them hooked. On days like today, when we can’t really get out and fly, it’s a great aid that keeps their skills sharp,” Yeager said.
Between the Sisters Airport, high school and Outlaw Aviation, high school students are able to become pilots earlier and at a lower cost than in traditional programs.
Walt Lasecki a certified flight instructor at Outlaw Aviation, said it takes many hands to make everything happen.
“We want to build a pilot that has both the knowledge base and the flying skills, and by seeing multiple people and getting multiple perspectives on it, you build a better product,” Lasecki said.
Students are able to start flight science classes as soon as their freshman year, and through the school they can eventually receive their pilots license at half the amount that it would typically cost.
The Sisters High School flight science program is holding a dedication celebration of the flight simulator on Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m at the Outlaw Aviation hangar, located at Sisters Airport.