You have your standard reading, writing and arithmetic classes, but some determined Kanab High School students have elevated their course study. Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, students were given the opportunity to enroll in the elective class of Aviation Technology!

Kanab resident and pilot John Horan is the instructor. Having moved to Kanab 16 months ago, he became interested in providing Kanab High students more exposure to different career choices.

“I’m a retired aviator with the Navy, and worked on aircraft carriers for 23 years,” related Horan. “I love flying and thought an aviation class would be good here.”

Horan had a conversation with Kane School Board member Lisa Livingston, who immediately liked the idea of an aviation course. In addition, she connected Horan with the Aviation Science curriculum through Southern Utah University (SUU). District Superintendent Ben Dalton and Kanab High Principal Trevor Stewart were also in support of adding the strenuous applied science/mathematics course.

“To my surprise and their credit, everyone went along with it,” said Horan. “We hope to expand different career thoughts for the students. This is our first year and we have 12 hard core students!”

The determined students and instructor Horan are fortunate that SUU has lent good academic and professional support. On January 11, their second guest speaker was instructor Robert Paul, who made a dramatic entrance before an hour-long afternoon lecture. He arrived via helicopter, landing his chopper on the football field, along with co-pilot and fellow instructor Mallorie Barrons.

The two instructors shared some of their personal experiences on how they got into aviation, and how much they loved it. The duo answered questions from the inquisitive students and handed out SUU aviation information. They told them of career possibilities and wages for those with a commercial pilot’s license. They stressed the importance of getting a bachelor’s degree along with a commercial pilot’s license.

Although the price tag for the two-year aviation class was not cheap, with fixed wing costing around $85,000, and the rotary wing $115,00, they pointed out the starting wages were around $80,000 and Paul knew of some UPS cargo pilots who were now making $300,000 per year.

The instructional helicopter, an R44 Cadet, they flew over from Cedar City cost around $500,000. SUU also has R22 and R44 choppers that run between three and four million dollars each. The students were allowed to look inside the helicopter as the instructors told a little bit about the aircraft.

KHS is elevating education!