GSU students to take flight

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Cydney Long

Students should expect to see more planes flying over Statesboro in the upcoming months when Veteran Flight Training Aviation begins offering students and military members flight programs and discounted flying rates.

“VFT currently offers flight training from sport pilot rating to commercial pilot rating,” Vince Van Ness, manager of VFT Aviation, said.

VFT, which operates out of Reidsville, flies single engineer planes and will offer the same planes to students and those with military IDs, Van Ness said.

“We will take students from never having flown to learning how to fly, take-off, land and everything else, all in various weather conditions,” Van Ness said.

“One of our goals is to teach students to evaluate weather patterns and other factors such as health and fatigue, affecting flight to enable students to make smart decisions,” Van Ness said.

VFT Aviation will hold classes at the Statesboro Municipal Airport, Van Ness said.

“Some of our programs require cross-country flight, so we might go up to Augusta or down to Jacksonville,” Van Ness said.

“A lot of people don’t have the opportunity to do things like this. I think it’s great,” Ricky Veasley, freshman multimedia communications major, said.

Normally, VFT charges $100 per flight hour in the plane and $45 per hour for the flight instructor. For students, however, the plane would only cost $95 per flight hour, with the instructor price being the same, Van Ness said.

“If students buy ten hours of flight instruction, the price will be ninety dollars per flight hour,” Van Ness said.

VFT will also offer an introductory flight for students who just want to get a feel of whether or not flying is something they want to try, Van Ness said.

“The introductory flight will cost seventy-five dollars, which will cover an hour of flight and a flight instructor,” Van Ness said.

“I think students would be interested in trying it out for only seventy-five dollars,” Deonte Smith, sophomore mechanical engineering major, said.

“We understand what it’s like to be students, so we want to make flying affordable, enjoyable and accessible,” Van Ness said.

“Our planes are fuel-efficient, so the operational cost is relatively cheap,” Van Ness said.

Van Ness said that commercial aviation expands beyond airlines. Skydiving, newsgathering and other related activities are all ways in which a person can make money by knowing how to fly a plane.