Fly Corps Aviation helps provide free flight training for veterans

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — A local flight school has helped veterans receive more than $300,000 worth of training free of charge.

Michael Horton served in the U.S. Army as a U-H 60 Black Hawk pilot. Now, he’s transitioning out of the army and is looking for his next opportunity.

Thanks to Fly Corps Aviation, he and several other veterans are finding careers outside of the military as certified pilots.

“I definitely want to continue my aviation career on the civilian side,” Army Veteran Michael Horton said.

“I already have a job offer from an airline. Once I started at Fly Corps I went ahead and contacted airlines and they went ahead and offered me an interview,” he said. “When I explained the program that I was in and the timeline that Fly Corps gave me, it’s pretty accelerated so I’ve already got a job offer from them.”

Horton’s experience was mostly in flying helicopters as an aviation safety officer in the army and it still only took him 60 days to become certified.

“What we’ve found over the past couple of years in flight training is we have a huge pool of helicopter pilots from the army that don’t qualify to fly airlines,” Founder and Chief Aviator at Fly Corps Aviation Chip Griewahn said.

“It also provides an excellent career especially for personally getting out of the army,” he said. “They’ve already had a career but they need to transition themselves out because they’re still pretty young.

“So we can get them into the airlines and they can start traveling the world and gaining so much experience, so much life experience.”

Fly Corps Aviation has been instructing in Chatham County for over 16 years. They partnered with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs so they were able to provide over $300,000 worth of flight training to transitioning veterans last year at no cost to them.

“We have several that are actually in training with the airlines now,” Griewahn said. “A lot are still in training with us to transition out.”

“Others are with private companies flying corporate jets and things like that,” he added. “We’ve been able to do that with zero to no dollars out-of-pocket for the actual army personnel.”

So far, they have been able to train 13 people with the help of Veterans Affairs and 21 students with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Grant, with over 6,000 hours of instruction. Griewahn says they aim to help even more this year.

“So I just tell them to try it, Griewahn said. “Give us a call. Come out and take an introductory flight and we’ll guide you through the process.”

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