Penobscot Island Air Flight School celebrating one year anniversary
OWLS HEAD, Maine (WABI) - Penobscot Island Air Flight School in Owls Head is celebrating their one-year anniversary.
A program that started with only one student has grown with now more than 20.
“I’m not a pilot. I’ve learned a lot over the last few years, but it’s a lot of great people really pulling together, and our customers are like family to us,” said Theresa Waters of Penobscot Island Air.
Waters and the crew at Penobscot Island Air continue to carry on the legacy of founder, Kevin Waters.
Theresa is now the president.
Penobscot Island Air, your guide to the sky on Maine’s coast, has grown significantly since its start in 2004.
It was Kevin’s priority to continue helping the people of Knox County and those on the islands to maintain their way of life.
That includes helping them get access to healthcare and making sure their mail is delivered.
Carson Courchaine makes the 12-minute flight one-way to Matinicus Island, five days a week.
“It’s a one-of-a-kind view. Less than 0.02% of the population is a commercial pilot or better. That is a small number of people, so it’s an elite group to be a part of,” he said.
“It’s always a good day when you hear a plane flying, and you know you have away off and that your groceries can get here. I don’t know what we’d do without them.” said Matinicus Island resident, Dorian Edwin.
The newest addition to Penobscot Island Air is their Flight School which began a year ago.
They welcome new students for Private Pilot, Instrument, Commercial, Certified Flight Instructor, and Certified Flight Instructor training.
“By the time they finish that training, they’ll have 80-90% of the knowledge they’re going to use throughout their lifetime flying,” Courchaine said.
Carson has had many pilots who have inspired him along the way, and he’s hoping to pass that on to the next generation.
“Lots of people can be pilots, but not everybody is a great pilot. To work here, you have to be a really good pilot,” he said.
In just one year, the school has grown from one part-time instructor and one student to now four part-time instructors and more than 20 students.
When Andrea Gemeinhardt is not working as a flight dispatcher, she’s hitting the books working on getting her pilot’s license.
“I only have about ten hours logged. However, I am ready to take my FAA written exam and then after that continue training for hours and do a solo and check ride. Hopefully, I’ll obtain my license by the end of summer,” she explained.
Coming from a healthcare background, she hopes to tie that into her love and appreciation for aviation.
“If you have a dream, pursue it. Just pursue it. Feel that fear and do it anyways,” said Gemeinhardt.
The Flight School is covered by an instructor, seven days a week, weather permitting.
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