Looking to the sky

Published 8:19 am Monday, May 17, 2010

The Austin Municipal Airport joined with airports and flight schools around the world Saturday to become part of International Learn to Fly Day.

The movement is part of a larger effort to get people interested in flying by giving them the facts of learning how to pilot a plane, facts they may not have known.

Kyle Nelson, a flight instructor for Austin Aeroflight, Inc., conducted two seminars Saturday — one in the morning and another in the afternoon.

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“We just want to spark some interest,” Nelson said.

Roughly 10 people showed up total to both seminars and received a quick overview as to what is needed to learn to fly.

“We go over the basics of getting a license,” Nelson said. “Some for a career, some for fun.”

In the simplest terms it was giving people all the possibilities of becoming a pilot.

“We show them what you can do,” he said. “People don’t know they can do that kind of stuff.”

Easton Green, 15, was one of those giving some thought to flying. He was there with his dad Craig Green.

“I think he can,” Craig said of his son. “He’s been talking to Kyle. I can see Kyle giving him some rides and I think he would like it.”

In Minnesota a person has to be 16 before they can take any solo flights during education and 17 before they can take the test for a license, so Green has some time to think about it.

Dennis Svoboda was another on hand at the afternoon seminar. Svoboda is a testament to the fact that you’re never too young or old to get a pilot’s license, having gotten his when he was 65 years old.

“I’ve always wanted to fly,” he said chuckling. “When I retired I had that feeling that I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up.”

fourteen year old Curtis Oberbroeckling already knows he’s got the interest to fly. Walking through the hanger after the information portion of the seminar Oberbroeckling explained it had a lot to do with his dad.

“My dad was a private pilot,” he said. “I’m looking to come out here when I’m 16.”

One of Nelson’s biggest points he hoped those at the seminar would take away is what flying offers.

“There are things about flying you’ll never forget,” he said. “Even if you get to the solo point and not get your license you still have a story.”