School Program Would Teach Students to Fly

Courtney Williams's picture
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Aspen (Colo.) School District is considering a new program that would teach students to fly airplanes as part of their math and science curriculum.

It would be modeled after a popular class that’s been in New Mexico schools since 2005. It was started there by flight instructor Greg Roark, who is the husband of the assistant superintendent of the Aspen School District and now lives here.

Roark launched the flight program at a group of charter schools in Albuquerque, N.M. The schools eventually leased two small planes for students. The program enrolled kids from grades 4 through 12, leading up to putting them in a cockpit.

It allowed students to earn their pilots’ licenses and eventually fly solo, while pairing flight time with classroom lessons on aerodynamics and applied mathematics.

Last month, a local couple donated $50,000 to the Aspen School District to launch the flight program here. Roark is scheduled to present the idea to the school board this afternoon.

“It would be an aviation and aerospace program,” said school district superintendent John Maloy.

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