AP NEWS

Embracing a love of the skies

February 22, 2019

La PORTE — Region Flyers celebrated their grand opening on Saturday at the La Porte Municipal Airport. The company hosted a luncheon for community members interested in their flight school in the airport’s main terminal building.

La Porte is the third location in which Region Flyers have opened an aviation school. Their original location is in Valparaiso and they have a second in Lansing, Illinois.

Opening an aviation school in La Porte will give locals the opportunity to earn their pilot’s license and eventually be able to fly a plane, solo.

Bradley Detert, owner and president of Region Flyers, expressed his enthusiasm about the area.

“I have always seen La Porte as a place with a lot of potential, and I saw an opportunity to expand the company,” Detert said. “I think the people of La Porte agree that the airport is phenomenal. I think Region Flyers can provide a service to the community.”

Detert has constructed a strong team of numerous flight instructors that come from corporate airline industries help flight students reach their personal and professional goals. Helping others embrace their love of the skies is something that Detert strives for.

“I have always been in love flying,” Detert said. “I’ve always considered it not only a career, but a passion of mine. If others are interested in that, I would like to help them along their way to reach their aspiration.”

Earning a private pilot’s license through the Region Flyers’ aviation school program starts with attending lessons in their ground school style classroom training.

Flight Operations Manager for Region Flyers, Staci Lawson describes the program as, “like college, but to become a pilot.” This process is fairly intense, but gives the students the tools they need to become a skilled pilot.

Upon completion of the ground school students will be able to start flying one of the aviation school’s 13 aircrafts. However, some students opt to work toward completion of both ground and flight training at the same time.

Anyone over the age of 17 is eligible to earn a private pilot’s license through this program, which allows for the operation and transportation of the pilot and passengers for non-commercial purposes. Additional training is needed to be able to earn money from transporting passengers, commercially. Region Flyers has options available for those interested in becoming a commercial pilot upon earning a private pilot’s license.

“We go from zero all the way to the airlines,” explained Lawson.

There is no specific deadline to sign up for the program. Training is individualized and students can start their course at any time. The cost runs around $7,000 for a private pilot’s license, before any additional commercial training.

Detert encourages everyone who has the ambition of flying a plane to take up the program.

“Flying gives you such a great sense of accomplishment and freedom,” said Detert. “It’s something that I know that I personally wanted to do from a very early age. The career potentials are outstanding, and it’s just a fun thing to do.”

Region Flyers also offers private tours of the Lakeshore or Chicago Skyline for up to three passengers. These tours run from $169 and offer a unique experience for anyone with a passion for flying.

Those interested in learning to fly in La Porte should visit www.RegionFlyers.com or call (844) 435-9694.