Two Gore Bay Flying Club students pass flight tests

Two Gore Bay Flying Club students, from left, Richard Anger and Avery Sheppard, both took and passed their flight tests this past Tuesday. Ms. Sheppard was the school’s first student to complete her training through the youth pilot training scholarship, donated by Islanders. PHOTO BY MARK WILSON

GORDON – Gore Bay Flying Club (GBFC) student pilots Richard Anger and Avery Sheppard took their flight tests on Tuesday and both passed. Upon successful completion of the Transport Canada written exam, each of these Manitoulin student pilots will earn their private pilot’s license (PPL).

Ms. Sheppard was GBFC’s first scholarship student and passing the flight test completes her practical training and the scholarship. The club’s youth pilot training scholarship covers all the recipient’s training costs up to completing the flight test, a value typically running to several thousand dollars, donated by generous contributors across Manitoulin to help an Island youth earn a pilot’s license.

“It was a lot of work, but also fun and exciting to fly a small plane over Manitoulin and farther. I’m thankful to the Gore Bay Flying Club for this scholarship and to Wade (Cook) for all his excellent instruction,” said Ms. Sheppard.

“Our whole club is very proud of Avery and I’m pretty happy to pass my flight test,” commented Mr. Anger. “I look forward to completing my Transport Canada written exam and getting my wings. I’ve been at this a while but that just makes me a better pilot, with Wade as my instructor all this time.” 

Soon after the flying club’s inception in March 2017 members started talking about a scholarship to train Manitoulin youth as pilots and began work on selection criteria, fundraising and publicizing. 

Ms. Sheppard, a Mindemoya resident, was selected as the most qualified candidate in the spring of 2019 and has been working hard on this achievement ever since.

Club instructor Wade Cook added, “this is a big day for Richard and Avery, for the club and myself—to have two of my students pass their flight tests, with one of them our first scholarship student, is pretty special.”