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West Michigan charter school gets new airplane

Oct 4, 2015

A Cessna 172, similar to the one purchased for the West Michigan Aviation Academy.
Credit Henrico Prins / flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A charter high school in west Michigan now has two airplanes for students to use to learn to fly.

A contribution from the Delta Air Lines Foundation allowed the school to buy a Cessna 172.

“My first flight was actually in the new plane. 

It handles exceptionally well,” said Jaxyn Riks, a senior at West Michigan Aviation Academy. “It’s just perfect for training flight students.”

The school is located at the Grand Rapids International Airport. Businessman Dick DeVos founded the school in 2010. The school already had one plane, but DeVos says Michigan’s unpredictable weather means conditions are unsafe for flight during a lot of the school year.

“When the weather’s good, we need to get kids up in the air, get them training. Because they need hours, they need experience, they need practice,” DeVos said. “So the second plane lets us allow more kids the access and opportunity for flight training.”

The school bought a Cessna 172 with the help of a $150,000 gift from the Delta Airlines Foundation.