By Tatum Cramer
Correspondent 

Aviation program getting back in the air

 

Last updated 2/28/2023 at Noon

JACK TURPEN

Sisters students are getting back into the air in the Outlaws’ aviation program.

Sheryl Yeager runs the aviation program at Sisters High School (SHS). Yeager has been teaching for 29 years and teaching aviation classes at SHS for seven.

Over the past summer Sisters Aviation experienced some challenges which concluded in the program no longer being able to fly. Although classes never stopped at Sisters High School, the opportunity to take flight lessons at Sisters Eagle Airport was no longer an option.

Aviation students were forced to drive to Bend to get flight instruction. This was a large problem because many of the students were too young to have their driver’s license. But thanks to COCC and Leading Edge, both located in Bend, flight instruction is being brought back to Sisters.

Leading Edge has agreed to provide flight instruction to SHS student pilots at the Sisters Eagle Airport.

“Leading Edge brings one or two planes down from Bend once or twice a week,” said Yeager.

“The fact that the SHS students can receive ground instruction at the high school, and flight instruction here locally in Sisters, is what makes our program one-of-a-kind,” said Yeager.

This gives students the opportunity to learn to fly as well as attain their pilot’s license by the time they graduate. Student pilots can also log hours if they already have their pilot’s license.

“I am excited about the program opening back up again, and for the kids who have not had the opportunity to fly to try it out locally here in Sisters,” said Corbin Fredland

Fredland is the youngest Sisters student to have attained a pilot’s license in Sisters Outlaw Aviation history.

“Currently four students are working on their Private Pilot’s License (PPL), one student has his PPL and is working on his instrument rating. There are six others who are scheduled to begin their flight training soon,” said Yeager.

Yeager has had a total of 16 students complete the entire program and go on to attain their private pilot’s license.

“There are currently 22 kids in PPP (Private Pilot’s Preparation), working on passing the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) written exam,” said Yeager.

All ground instrumental classes and COCC dual credit courses at the high school have continued and are full.

This program is only achievable because Yeager herself is a certified flight instructor as well as a high school teacher.

The staff recognize that the program would not be possible without the generosity and constant support from the community of Sisters, as well as the continued support from the school board. Yeager offered a special thank-you to Julie and Benny Benson, owners of the Sisters Eagle Airport. The Bensons host a major event at the airport over the 4th of July, along with providing a space for the Sisters High School students to set up instruments and flight simulators. These instruments allow kids to practice and learn on a simulator to prepare them for when they step into a real plane.

“The kids and I are very grateful for this,” said Yeager

For more information, contact Sheryl Yeager at [email protected]

 

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