Aviation Students Fly High Over Duluth In Search Of New Careers

By KBJR News 1

July 31, 2011 Updated Jul 31, 2011 at 10:48 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter)
Tom Donaldson is a flight instructor for Lake Superior College's Aviation Program.
Just about everyday, he gets to fly the pride of the Northland sky.

"It's a Cirrus SR20 made down the ramp here. It's a technically advanced aircraft which means it has a glass panel as opposed to the old steam gauges." said Donaldson.

There are several other high quality college and private flight programs in the Northland but Donaldson feels LSC's SR20 gives his school an edge.

"We offer everything from private pilot certificates to instrument ratings, commercial ratings and multi–engine ratings." said Donaldson.

Earnest Beaulieu is one of the students.
He's wanted to fly since childhood.

"Since I was eight years old I always wanted to fly. Then, I got to go to Australia with my dad on a plane at 10 and since that day, I wanted to do it." said Beaulieu.

Beaulieu is getting himself into a potentially lucrative field.
Instructor Donaldson quotes a statement from Boeing that there will be a need for two hundred thousand pilots over the next few years.
Beaulieu feels the LSC program will qualify him for one of those jobs.

"Yeah, I really like the program. Its good instruction and the teachers really focus on you and adjust their teaching and learning techniques to how you can do it." said Beaulieu.

Tom Donaldson is a graduate of the program himself.
He's honored to be back at his alma mater helping newbies to take wing.

"Not too many people get to go to work everyday and see our part of the country from five to ten thousand feet and its pretty special and fun!" said Donaldson.

Above the Twin Ports, Dave Anderson, the Northland's News Center.

Lake Superior College also offers a helicopter pilot course.