A Flight Above

Posted - Feb. 24, 2004 at 7:37 a.m.



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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

I guess everyone has regrets about his or her life. I have always wanted to learn to fly. It never happened. However, that desire was really rekindled recently when I visited with Robin Venuti at A Flight Above at the St. George Airport.

A Flight Above is in the business of helicopter pilot training. Robin has students from all over the country coming to St. George to learn to fly and to open a world of employment possibilities. While I was visiting with Robin, he had students from Canada, South Dakota, Idaho and of course, Utah.

There is a great demand now for helicopter pilots. Most who are flying learned their trade in the military during the Vietnam War. They are now at retirement age and there is a giant void in the profession. There has never been a better time to learn to fly.

Robin explained to me that there are many flying opportunities in such professions as law enforcement, fire fighting, medical Life Flights and in the corporate world. More and more, top business executives have added helicopters to their corporate jet fleets for convenience and comfort.

A Flight Above has three helicopters available for training. Many students have been trained as fixed wing pilots. There are extensive written tests, flight tests, oral examinations and between 50-60 hours of flight time before final approval from a FFA examiner. Students spend extensive time in both the classroom and in the air.

I was curious how Robin got into the flight training business. He told me he worked as a fire fighter for the Forrest Service. He was flown in to many fires to fight and quickly determined it would be more fun to fly helicopters rather than be left behind by them. He trained in southern California, got his license and began a career as a helicopter pilot.

Originally from Escalante, Robin decided to come home to Utah and A flight Above was a great opportunity to live in Utah, and use his extensive experience with the copters.

For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

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