North Augusta students take to the skies with 1st aviation course

Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 7:07 PM EST
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NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - It’s to infinity and beyond for students at North Augusta High School. This year teens had the chance to enroll in an aviation course – the first of its kind across all of Aiken County.

For junior Reagan Littleton flying a plane was not always on her to-do list.

“When I first looked at it, I was like what is aviation? I don’t even know what that means and then when I actually took it and learned more about it I was like flying a plane and making that your job seems pretty cool,” she said.

And now making it a career is something she is considering.

“You learn a lot of cool stuff in here and it’s a lot more interesting than when I first took it so learning about it made me think about maybe making it my future job,” said Littleton.

Interesting is the goal with this class. Although students are primarily learning in a classroom setting – the teacher Travis Spears, who’s been flying for over 20 years, does his best to give students a hands-on approach like getting to build their own plane.

“They want to come to class and learn these things and it gives them a chance to work with partners. They can see what’s creating the thrust, like what we did today, what’s creating drag in a plane, but why at times you want that because that’s what the flaps are for,” said Spears.

He says this class covers the basics of aviation and the simpler stuff they will see on a written exam for a pilot’s license.

“They’re getting that knowledge now essentially at North Augusta High School for free where it’s $80 an hour to pay an instructor to teach you so that’s a real benefit for all the kids,” he said.

Amanda Prince says she encourages anyone interested in aviation to take the course.

“Anybody interested in flying a plane or knowing how they work; I think this would be a cool class for them because we do learn all that stuff, and you can go on from this class and get your own plane and flying license,” she said.

And Spears says going beyond just this class is the ultimate goal.

“Even if it’s not a career and a hobby, if they walk out of here and go this is something I can do for the rest of my life, ultimately that’s what we want,” he said.

There are two more advanced courses students can choose to take once this year’s introduction course is over. Spears says he’s also working with Augusta Aviation to set up a field trip out to Daniel Field so students can learn from their mechanics and flight instructors.

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