Glass City Flight offers training school at airportWritten by Staff Reports | | firstname.lastname@example.org
By Tom Konecny, Toledo Free Press Staff Writer
Toledo now has a flight training school for the first time in 20 years with the opening of Glass City Flight at Toledo Express Airport. Although training can be obtained through area flying clubs and Bowling Green State University’s aviation program, the next closest structured training school of its kind is in Wauseon.
“I know when I trained I didn’t want to go an hour to fly,” said Scott Frost, owner and general manager. “Toledo really only has flight clubs, and BGSU has the school. I did it through a flying club, but it wasn’t as structured as a flying school can and should be. Most people have the interest in learning to fly, and they don’t want to go back to the university.”
The most noticeable benefit of training at Toledo Express is its size, offering the use of its control tower, crossing runways and a lot more aircraft activity than smaller airports, Frost said. Flexibility is another key factor, where teaching can be offered on a variety of days and times, and on a pay as you go basis.
“Our students are career-based individuals that want flexibility in their schedule,” Frost said. “We all remember the days of college, those are set days and times.”
Frost estimates the total cost of schooling is around $7,500 and can last three to 12 months, which is a big difference when it comes to the time and cost of a four-year college education. As such, Frost expects to draw clientele from the regular working business world and high school students who can’t afford or don’t want the full college experience.
Glass City Flight’s certified flight instructor Justin Harnden said a career in aviation is a wise move.
“There’s a shortage of pilots,” Harnden said. “Aviation is going to be on the rise.”
Both Frost and Harnden note that aviation is strong in the area. Toledo has the benefit of a decent-sized airport, home of the Ohio Air National Guard’s 180th Fighter Wing, and BGSU’s aviation program is widely recognized as one of the finest in the state
For those interested in learning to fly, there’s no quick fix or instant jump to larger planes; it all starts with single engine, four-seat planes like the Beechcraft Sundowner offered through Glass City Flight.
“Everybody has to start somewhere,” Harnden said. “And this is the beginning of the journey. No matter what, you still have start in a basic training flight program.
Glass City Flight offers an introduction flight for $100, and Frost has already sold some packages for upcoming Father’s Day gifts. The introduction presents a sample of what flying is like, including meeting with an instructor who will explain the basic principles of flight and controls, as well as a 30-45 minute excursion in the air.
Once someone is committed to the program, there are three major milestones to achieve while training: First, flying “solo” with a certified flight instructor; second, taking a written Federal Aviation Administration exam; and third, taking a final check ride to get the license.
“Basically, we teach the rules and regulations of the air,” Frost said
In general, flying single engine planes can reduce typical travel time by about half, but the fuel cost is roughly double that of a car. Still, when put in perspective, learning to fly offers a skill that can become a lifelong hobby or even a career.
“Flying a general aviation aircraft is like driving your own car,” Frost said. “Flying commercial is like boarding a Greyhound bus with wings.”
For more information, contact Glass City Flight at (419) 407-6101, or visit glasscityflight.com.
Tags: 180th FIghter Wing, Beechcraft Sundowner, BGSU, Bowling Green State University, Federal Aviation Administration, flight, flight club, flight training school, flying club, general manager, Glass City Flight, instructor, Justin Harnden, Ohio Air National Guard, owner, Scott Frost, Toledo Express Airport, training, Wauseon