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First flight school opens at Paulding airport
by Adam Elrod
April 24, 2013 11:16 AM | 4124 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Paulding residents now have a chance to learn how to fly a plane at the Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport.

The Paulding County Airport Authority meeting last week voted to make Calhoun-based Hawk Aviation the exclusive flight school for the airport.

This formally authorizes them to be the airport’s flight school, said authority member Kerry Tidmore.

The school will be taught by Miron “Mo” Holcombe and Lou Essick. Holcombe has 28 years of experience in aviation, while Essick has more than 30 years, Holcombe said.

Tidmore said Hawk approached the airport to become the exclusive flight school.

“We presented ourselves as, ‘Hey, here we are, here is what we can do,’” Holcombe said. “We wanted to be the first flight school in Paulding County.”

The school is just becoming established, but already has a plane and eight students. Officials are waiting to see the demand before deciding on the maximum number of students they will accept, he said.

“The sky is the limit,” Holcombe said.

April 18 was the first official day of flying lessons.

The goal is to equip students with the knowledge to fly safely. Risk management is one of the lessons given so students can figure out what is going on within a situation and how to fix it, he said.

The instructors are able to train students to become different types of pilots — such as private pilots — instrument rated to fly in different types of weather, corporate rated and flight instructors, Holcombe said.

“We are here to see how many pilots we can put out there safely,” Holcombe said.

Cost for becoming a pilot varies with the type of license. For the bare minimum as private pilot, with 40 hours of flying time, it can cost between $8,500 to $9,500. Tidmore said the authority is pleased with the school because the instructors are able to tailor lessons to individuals. “They have a very personalized, focused flight school,” he said.

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