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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.
One of the unfulfilled objectives I have in my life is learning to fly. For many years I procrastinated in starting the endeavor, and today I really regret not reaching that desire.
The old leap inside me really struck a couple of weeks ago when I visited with Dan and Micheline Smith at USA Flightnet, Inc. in St. George. The company is noted for their excellence in flight training. Dan told me that about 2/3 of his students are learning to fly for possible career opportunities. The others are like me; people who simply want to enjoy the opportunity to fly their own airplanes.
Daniel E. Smith developed his love and fascination for airplanes when he was a little boy growing up in Pennsylvania. When he was 11 years old, his family moved to California and he really began studying about airplanes. That great interest intensified when he became an aircraft electrical repairman in the Air Force. He was sent to Vietnam and was working 19-hour days honing his skills in aircraft service and maintenance.
He moved to St. George in 1986 and started Flightnet initially as a company that could provide flight tracking capability to the traveling public. The company would send to subscriberís important information regarding flight delays, cancellations weather conditions and other variables that impact traveling schedules.
In 1989 Dan joined the faculty at Dixie College to offer flight and aircraft maintenance classes. The program was very successful and popular but when the State Legislature mandated that budget cuts must be implemented, the program was deactivated. Dan and Micheline then opted to concentrate on their flight school and other activities from the St. George Airport. They maintain five planes in their large hanger. There are four Cessna 150ís (these are two-passenger crafts) and one Cessna 310, which is a twin-engine airplane that is fully equipped for instrument flying.
The classrooms for the flying classes are held onsite and the programs are based on a fast track formula that enables participants to be commercial pilots in about one year.
The Smithís are really realizing their goal to assist people of all ages to further their interests and achieve their goals in aviation.
For Zions Bank, Iím Fred Ball. Iím speaking on business.