Flight training sub-base coming to Drumheller Airport | DrumhellerMail
Last updateTue, 24 May 2022 5pm

Flight training sub-base coming to Drumheller Airport

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The Drumheller Municipal Airport may soon be home to a sub-base of Air Pocket Adventures, training pilots.
Air Pocket Adventures is based out of Beiseker and is operated by pilot and flight instructor Jack Paquette. He has been up and running for about three years. When the runway repaving project is complete this spring he says he has permission to set up a sub-base for training. Paquette said he set up just before COVID and has been flying for about 50 years.
“Most of my flying was overseas, flying bombers, charter, and corporate,” he said.
He explains he decided to bring his career closer to home and started the flight school.
He has already taken on a couple of students from Drumheller who have taken up flying and says there are more interested and ready to start.
“The plan will be to start the sub base and see how busy it is going to be,” he said.
He explains Transport Canada maintains a minimum of 45 hours of total flying time to get a private license. This includes 17 hours of dual and 12 hours of solo flight, and the rest can be a mix.
“My students average between 40 and 50 hours to get their license if they apply themselves,” he said.
He will designate training areas near Drumheller for his students to hone their skills. Aside from circuits for takeoff and landing, this is where they will train. They typically take an online ground school such as Harv’s Air, and at Drumheller, they will also have training at the terminal, as well as in the air.
“The ground school basically preps the individual for their written exam. There is also a practical exam. Basically, I get them ready to fly and teach them how to fly the airplane safely, and then they do the written and flight test,” he said. “I supplement the classroom part. Navigation is a big portion of the training. They will get that through Harv’s Air, but they will still need one on one.”
Paquette says it’s actually quite reasonable for someone interested in learning to fly.
“On average for a private license, it is somewhere around the $16,000 mark to get the flight stuff. The online course is about $300 and there are some exam fees.”
He has experience in many different types of planes and flight conditions, so he is able to tailor the training to the individual students’ needs or desires. This could be anything from a simple private license to training to be a bush pilot or even a commercial pilot.
“There’s nothing holding you back except fear, common sense, and money,” he laughs.
He hopes setting up a sub-base in Drumheller will help increase his overall footprint allowing more students from a larger area to be able to train.
“One of the things I put in my ads is ‘What is your dream?’ For some people, they want to be private individuals and it is something they have wanted to do their whole life. Other people want to make it as a career, So I have to plan towards it …Basically, I fulfill a dream.”
For more information check out www.iflyapa.com or check out the Air Pocket Adventures Facebook page.

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