Spreading your wings: It’s a great time to learn to fly

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  • JOE KUBERKA goes over details of instrumentation in his Cessna 172 training plain with Josh Conatser, left, and Dean McGinnis during a “Learn to Fly” session last Saturday at the Polson Airport.

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    DEAN McGINNIS, left, and Josh Conatser listen to Blue Goose Aviation co-owner Joe Kuberka during last Saturday’s “Learn to Fly” introduction at the Polson Airport. Both McGinnis and Conatser are planning to pursue getting a pilot’s license. (Joe Sova photos/Lake County Leader)

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    EARNING YOUR pilot's license requires at least 40 hours of flying time and three times that many hours of studying, according to Blue Goose Aviation co-owner Joe Kuberka, center. He goes over the books that are part of the course with Dean McGinnis, left, and Josh Conatser.

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    BLUE GOOSE Aviation uses this Cessna 182 for scenic flights and a Cessna 172 for pilot training. The planes are hangared at the Polson Airport.

  • JOE KUBERKA goes over details of instrumentation in his Cessna 172 training plain with Josh Conatser, left, and Dean McGinnis during a “Learn to Fly” session last Saturday at the Polson Airport.

  • 1

    DEAN McGINNIS, left, and Josh Conatser listen to Blue Goose Aviation co-owner Joe Kuberka during last Saturday’s “Learn to Fly” introduction at the Polson Airport. Both McGinnis and Conatser are planning to pursue getting a pilot’s license. (Joe Sova photos/Lake County Leader)

  • 2

    EARNING YOUR pilot's license requires at least 40 hours of flying time and three times that many hours of studying, according to Blue Goose Aviation co-owner Joe Kuberka, center. He goes over the books that are part of the course with Dean McGinnis, left, and Josh Conatser.

  • 3

    BLUE GOOSE Aviation uses this Cessna 182 for scenic flights and a Cessna 172 for pilot training. The planes are hangared at the Polson Airport.

If you have had dreams of flying an airplane — being a pilot — perhaps this is a good time for the dreams to become reality.

Joe and Kathy Kuberka, co-owners of Blue Goose Aviation of Polson, always have an “open invitation” to learn what it takes to be a pilot.

During last Saturdays open house at the Blue Goose hangar at the Polson Airport, Joe allowed two local flying enthusiants — neither of which had ever been a pilot — to absorb the ins and outs of flying such as a four-seat airplane.

Dean McGinnis and Josh Conatser dropped by to see what it’s all about.

Joe has been a pilot for 41 years and has logged more than 10,000 hours behind the controls. He leads pilot groups twice a year, and this year will be in seven national parks.

Blue Goose has a 1974 Cessna 172 training plane with an engine that produces 150 horepower. It flies up to 90 knots, or 100 miles per hour. It can fly up to five hours before needing refueling.

Joe also has a 1964 Cessna 182 that delivers 230 horepower. It cruises at 135 mph (120 knots). It is used for scenic tours.

Both planes are four-seaters.

While Josh sat at in the pilot’s seat, Joe showed he and Dean the instrumentation in Blue Goose’s Cessna 172, and how the controls work.

“You steer with your feet and control your speed with your hands,” Joe explained.

Dean was a little more familiar with the controls than Josh, since Dean was flying a plane about 40 years ago. If he gets his license and own plane, he would be able to fly to the eastern side of Montana to visit family. He would get there about twice as fast as when driving a vehicle.

“I would love to own a plan,” Josh said, and it would see recreational use.

A pilot-to-be has to pass written, oral and flight tests to be certified. Plus log 40 hours in the air.

“There are folks who can do it in 30 days, and others take eight years,” laughed Joe.

Joe is the local president of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). The next meeting is Wednesday, May 22 at 6 p.m. at Polson FBO (airport).

“We’re trying to get kids involved in it,” Joe said of being a pilot. “Youths are not as interested as they were years ago.”

Blue Goose is hosting a “Rusty Pilot” course June 8 from 9 a.m. to noon.

For more information, call 719-393-5550.

If some aspires to be a commercial pilot, now is the time to get out into the “wild blue yonder” at the controls of an airplane.

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