Airplane (teens standing by)

The skies above central Wisconsin were full of new faces today.

Central Wisconsin students all the way up from tomahawk down to Mosinee, took to the skies today, right here at downtown Wausau's airport in hope of becoming pilots themselves one day.

The student fliers are part of the airport's aviation 101 program.

Flight instructor Dyer Kimm is excited to train potential pilots and launch them into the field of aviation.

Kimm says they could fill a big need.

"There is a huge deficit right now for pilots in the whole nation. I know delta just dropped their requirement for a four year degree, which is kind of nice. So they’re really hurting for pilots everywhere," said Kimm.

Students part of this program are taking advantage of the easier requirements and exploring all the field has to offer.

"Allowing yourself to just explore the career because there’s a lot of different things that you can do in aviation other than like being a pilot," said Kaia Barrett.

Students explored future possibilities at the Fox Valley campus in Oshkosh after their flight.

The aviation 101 course is designed to prepare students before entering collegiate programs and for them to achieve personal flying goals.

"Some students will just reach the solo mark, which is where they get to fly the airplane by themselves without an instructor, which is an achievement in itself. So it's a pretty pretty fun one. It’s like your first memory as a pilot. It’s great. That’s the goal for the summer with these kids," said Kimm.

Kimm says many of them will be hooked…just like he was years ago.

"Absolutely, this is the funnest job I’ve ever had. Can’t beat flying every day," said Kimm.

Feel free to send story ideas to Michael’s email: mlodholz@wjfw.com

Reporter

Michael was born in Tomahawk and attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. During the winter months he can be found on the ski slopes. An avid coffee drinker he can be seen frequenting Northwoods cafes.