Students earn wings in flying lessons over the city

HOUGHTON — More than 20 students are spreading their wings and learning to fly this summer.

Flight training during this week’s Summer Youth Program at Michigan Tech taught the basics of flying an airplane to 18 international students and three from the United States. The international students are from South Korea, part of a group of 102 students from that country to take part in the summer programs this year. The instructors are members of the Civil Air Patrol who are thrilled to share their experience and expertise.

Flight Instructor Jack Hartmann said, “It is so nice to see those light bulbs go off when they ‘I got it! I understand what you just told me!’ And, for them to be able to fly this simulator after just having had two days of classes is awesome.” Most of these students are getting their first flying lesson.

16-year-old Zbigniew Bell said, “How a plane works and how to fly a plane and all of the different tools to use to make a successful flight.”

But now it’s time to put down the simulator and go up in the real thing. The instructor guides the student through take off and once up in the air…he hands the controls over. Bell said, “It went good. He said that I was a natural and I didn’t believe him but I just tried my hardest as I would in the simulator and it turned out to be good.”

It’s an experience that is absolutely breathtaking. Bell said, “Exhilarated, if I had to put one word on it. It was just, made me feel like I accomplished something.”