Local flight school trains pilots for careers in aviation

WEYERS CAVE, Va. (WHSV) – Blue Ridge Aviation has been around for a long time and has trained many pilots over the years.

In recent years, they have struggled with the effects of a nationwide pilot shortage that has disrupted travel and infrastructure.

Having worked at the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport for a few years, I knew the time and effort they put into getting pilots off the ground. So I found myself turning to them to find out why there was a shortage of pilots.

“The shortage of pilots has been going on for a few years.” Jake Shifflett, flight operations manager and chief flight instructor, said. “It started a while ago when they lowered the retirement age for airline pilots and the cost of flight training went up.”

He also pointed out that when COVID hit many pilots were laid off, but now that travel is returning to normal, pilots are few and far between.

Blue Ridge Aviation strives to get more pilots into the skies and get future aviators where they want to be.

“We’re partnering with Blue Ridge Community College so students can get their student loan to start flight training.” Shifflet explained.

Blue Ridge Aviation has several aircraft on site for people to try out different aircraft and obtain various certifications.

As we walked among the planes talking about the training, I saw several people working on their planes or loading for another flight and it shows that there is a lot of care and support in aviation.

Shifflett also mentioned that compared to other flight schools, Blue Ridge Aviation offers some of the lowest rates for flight training, and they even offer discovery flights if you’re not sure about becoming a pilot. , or if you just want to take a quick flight.

If you would like to learn more or start your training at Blue Ridge Aviation, you can click on the link here to get in touch with the school.

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