BOE members and BHS teachers take flight

Published 7:12 am Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Several member of the Decatur County Board of Education and teachers at Bainbridge High School took to the air last Thursday, Jan. 15.

The BOE recognized six members of the Chapter 445 of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) out of Tallahassee, Fla., for their support of the local Young Eagles program.

Since the program started in 2005, it has allowed 350 kids in the area a chance to fly for free over Bainbridge. The program has taken place five times.

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To show their appreciation for the pilots, who take part asking nothing in return, the BOE recognized EAA members Art Bruce, Scott Sutor, Kelley Phillips, John Sivyer, Marty Shingler and Danny Deason.

In the true spirit of a pilot, Sutor offered his thanks by taking those willing on a bird’s-eye tour of Bainbridge in his Mooney airplane—a single-engine plane known for reaching high speeds. Sutor has been a pilot for 39 years and learned to fly from his father, who was an airline pilot and owned his own plane.

Decatur County Schools Superintendent Ralph Jones was the first to climb aboard.

“I just appreciate these pilots taking their time and money to help our school system,” Jones said.

Jones also applauded the Junior Air Force ROTC for always looking for ways to enhance education. He added that being able to fly with the pilots is an educational experience.

Vonda Hubbard, a technology and business education teacher at BHS, got to experience flying over Bainbridge much like her son, Devon Hubbard, who previously took part in the Young Eagles program when he was in the seventh grade. Hubbard said it was her first time in a small plane.

“It was a nice ride, a little bit bumpy, but the view was spectacular and the pilot was great,” Hubbard said.

After a few minutes in the air, Hubbard told Sutor how much she likes flying in the small plane.

Both Hubbard and Superintendent Jones expressed how impressive it was to get to see the new high school in its entirety from the air and compare it with the overhead view of the current Bainbridge High School.

“It was good to get the opportunity to fly over the new high school, getting to see the construction nearing completion,” Jones said.

Others who flew with Sutor were BOE member Randall Jones and BHS science teacher Jeff Toole.