Liberty teaches young students to fly

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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) If you think this is your average summer school class, you'd be incorrect.

These students are learning to fly an airplane.

"New Horizons is a program designed to foster an interest in aviation in high school students," says Project Manager and Liberty University Aviation Instructor Chris Cartwright. "Since there's such a big pilot shortage, what we're trying to do is give students the opportunity to see aviation is first of all a viable career but it's also something that's attainable as well."

This is the first time the University is holding the program. Six students ages 16 and 17 have been hand picked to learn to fly.

For students like Kasey Boyer and Matthew Bell, this is a once in a lifetime experience.

"I've always liked planes since I was a little kid," says Boyer.

They won't start flying until later in the week, but that hasn't stopped their enthusiasm.

"I've always just been kinda fascinated with flying. I've found it excites me," says Bell.

The students will have just twelve days to learn how to take planes like this one from the taxi to the sky. But is that even possible?

According to Cartwright, "Twelve days is enough time if that's all you're doing. To learn how to fly it to the level where you can safely pilot it by yourself."

There's also an incentive.

"We're offering them 10 hours for $100 an hour. So that's $1,000. If they solo in less than 10 hours, they'll get $500 reimbursed."

It's a challenge these students are ready to accept.