It costs $250 per hour to rent an airplane at the Brandon Flight Centre.
Tuition for a private pilot license training, which includes 50 hours of classroom/fly time is $15,000. A commercial pilot’s license is $34,000.
A couple of students are working toward their commercial pilot’s licences.
But, they’re a little short.
That, assistant manager and director of finance Samantha Frisen said, is why the Brandon Flight Centre is hosting a Fly-in/Drive-in fundraiser tonight at their hangar at the Brandon Municipal Airport.
With a pilot shortage across the country and one-third of pilots having retired since the COVID-19 pandemic started, Friesen said there is a huge demand for pilots. The 60 students currently attending the flight school are training for their private pilot’s licence.
The fundraiser will see all funds go toward the Student Pilot Scholarship program with an eye toward lending an extra hand for the two students attempting their commercial pilot’s licences.
Most flight school students are working while they’re going to school. Scholarship availability is slim, and Friesen is hopeful government funding will become available.
In the meantime, funds raised from tonight’s event will go toward helping those two students, she said.
The fly-in/drive-in will take place on their ramp at the Brandon airport. Moviegoers are asked to bring a lawn chair as they hunker down to watch "Guardians of the Galaxy" while munching on popcorn, hotdogs or hamburgers.
A few pilots will be flying to the Brandon Airport to support the fundraiser as well, Friesen said.
The goal is to sell 100 of the $10 tickets for the movie, which will be shown on their hangar door from 9 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. A door prize of a night flight over Brandon in a Cessna 172 is the added bonus, as the flight will take off right after the movie.
This is the first time the Brandon Flight Centre has hosted an event like this.
For more information, visit the Brandon Flight School Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CYBRairport/
Other fundraisers tonight
There is an outdoor movie night in the park at Shoal Lake’s beach campground tonight, next to the playground starting at 9:15 p.m. with "Sherlock Gnomes" playing. Then at 11 p.m., "A Star is Born" will be shown for mature audiences. The price for the movies is a donation to the Strathclair Fire Department.
In Neepawa, the annual cross-Canada Rolling Barrage motorcycle ride from Halifax to Vancouver, will be stopping by today with a fly-over by two CF-18s at 12:30 p.m. Viewers can watch the show from the grassy area near the pool. Park on Ellen/Davidson/Mill streets. No drones are permitted. No blocking streets. The Rolling Barrage generates awareness and raises funds for therapeutic support for people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and their families. See therollingbarrage.com for more information.