Six indigenous youth from Southern Manitoba selected for flight training program

Eagle’s Wings Flight School (EWFS), in Portage la Prairie, Man., is one week away from hosting six young people from across southern Manitoba for a brand-new flight training initiative for youth. Students will learn the basics of flight during a three-day ground school before they begin flying an Allegro 2000 advanced ultralight aircraft. Each participant will log a total of 12 hours in the air over the course of two weeks, learning take-offs, landings, and aircraft handling.

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Dakota Ojibway Child & Family Services (DOCFS) is the student sponsor, and this year’s class was selected from a pool of over 25 young people ages 14 and up. The group will include a compliment of Dakota and Anishinaabe students from across Southern Manitoba.

EWFS is comprised of volunteer instructors, maintenance engineers, drivers and supervisors, and is spearheaded by a volunteer-based board of directors. When asked about the mission behind this new not-for-profit, flight instructor and board chair Joshua Cordery said, “this school has been a dream for years; I believe that learning how to fly will transform a young person’s perception of what they think possible for their future. Through the generous support of our sponsors we are committed to making this program available to student candidates regardless of any economic, personal or social barriers they may face.”

Portage is uniquely positioned just a few miles north of the Royal Canadian Air Force pilot training school and world-class facility at Southport Aerospace, which allows EWFS to draw from a wealth of experienced aviators ensuring that their students will receive the very best in instruction.

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DOCFS executive director Doreen Moellenbeck is excited for young people to have the opportunity to learn about flying and said, “This experience will create a memory that youth can reflect on as they mature and plan for their future as our leaders. During this unprecedented time with COVID 19, we will work with EWFS to ensure the necessary precautions.”

Keep your eyes on the skies as you’ll see EFWS’ red, white and yellow ultralight taking flight several times over the next three weeks.

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