Friday, September 12, 2014

Skill Aviation Flight Training: College of Lake County takes classroom into the sky

Skip Goss, the president of Skill Aviation Flight Training in Waukegan, will be teaching the Private Pilot Ground School course taught at the College of Lake County starting on Sept. 24. 

The College of Lake County’s Continuing Professional Development Department has launched a class that prepares students for the FederalAviation Administration’s Private Pilot knowledge test.

During a two-hour orientation session Wednesday, Sept. 10, flight instructor Skip Goss told Antioch residents Myrta Tiernan and her 17-year-old son James that it takes plenty of hard work to earn a private pilot certificate.

Because James hopes to join the Air Force after he graduates high school, Myrta Tiernan thought it would be a good idea for him to attend the orientation for the Aviation: Private Pilot Ground School course, which starts Sept. 24.

“I wanted him to see what it’s all about. If he wants to join [the Air Force] then this would give him a head start,” she said.

Michael Garamoni, the department’s senior program coordinator, said the class is being offered because the community has shown an interest. He also cited demand from employers in the commercial aviation fields.

“The vision in this department is for the college to see that there’s this demand for commercial pilots and offer a degree program sometime in the near future,” Garamoni said.

The fall class, he added, is an affordable way to get into aviation.

Classes are taught by Goss, who is a professional with many years of experience teaching aviation.

Goss is an FAA designated pilot examiner and the president of Skill Aviation Flight Training in Waukegan.

He said his instructors bill students up to $80 for an hour of instruction; the class, however, offers about 40 hours of training for $499, with payment plans also available.

During the weekly class, Goss said he will cover the topics of weather, radio communications, navigation, flight safety, aerodynamics and careers in aviation, including air traffic control operators or airline pilots.

Goss also touched on some of the high-tech equipment that pilots use.

“It’s amazing the technology that’s available,” Goss said. “Synthetic vision helps see through clouds in the dark.”

Despite all the technological advancements, Goss noted that most accidents are due to human error. One way to avoid such mistakes is to learn and practice.

“It’s all about frequency and repetition,” Goss said.

Myrta said she was glad she attended the session with her son, explaining that it made her feel better to know that a well-trained pilot is likely to be a safe one.

And James was not deterred by the course load that Goss described.

“I really want to learn how to fly,” James said. “I know it’ll be work but I can do it.”

Goss ended the session by saying that flying a plane is an experience unlike any other.

“You can go anywhere. Just get on the plane and fly away for the weekend,” Goss said.

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