Aaron Lazar
JRNM 151 student

Deciphering sectional charts, navigating the different classes of airspace, learning about varying weather patterns, and understanding basic aeronautics and principles related to safe flight are just some of the topics a group of Lorain County Community College students are covering this semester.

 The Private Pilot Ground School (AVIA 111) meets twice a week, tackling the knowledge and skills students need to become licensed pilots. The course is designed to teach prospective pilots all they need to successfully pass the FAA’s written examination, one step in obtaining a pilot’s license.

“I plan to go into the air force as a pilot after college,” explained student Dalton Geib. “I love this class. It’s a great way to spend Monday and Wednesday nights.”

Larry Coleman, a certified flight instructor, teaches the ground school. Coleman explained that this is the fourth consecutive semester the course has been offered at LCCC after being brought back two years ago. Between eight and fifteen people typically enroll for the course, a number Coleman would like to see increase in the future.

Students sign up to take the ground school for different reasons with some looking for a future career in the field and others simply interested in learning more about aviation.

Approximately a third of his students want to become airline pilots with another third pursuing careers as air traffic controllers, according to Coleman. The final third take the class for purposes of general interest.

“I took this class because I plan on becoming an air traffic controller in the future,” said student Teresa Powell. “So far, the class has been enjoyable and the subject matter is really interesting.”

Students taking the course, who wish to obtain their private pilot license, must arrange for additional instruction through a local flight school. The course is aimed at the bookwork associated with flying whereas a flight school focuses on helping one master the actual flying portion of training. Coleman says that one can expect training outside of his class at an airport (start to finish) to cost $7-9 thousand depending on the person and how quick they pick up the necessary skills.

“It’s a huge misconception that you need a lot of math and science to fly an airplane,” explained Coleman. “Flying teaches a lot about yourself and life management skills in general.” Coleman hopes to see the class grow in the future, with a flying portion added to create a complete training package, allowing students to learn to fly while at the same time earning college credit.

LCCC student Fred Robinette is taking the class as part of earning his private pilot license. “I love to fly. I flew with friends as a teen and dreamed of getting my license.” Robinette is using the Pell Grant to pay for the ground school at LCCC and is taking flight lessons at Lorain County Airport. He plans to fly for recreational purposes in the future.

Any student interested in the field, whether as a possible future career or a personal hobby, would benefit from taking this unique course offered through the college. The ground school offers students a solid introduction into the exciting world of aviation. Armed with the knowledge from the course, a student is free to explore multiple paths relating to their specific aeronautical pursuits and dreams. For more information on the course students can contact Larry Coleman at lcoleman1@lorainccc.edu