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Pee Dee high school students take flight in new aviation program

Students from Florence 1 Advantage Academy joined Carolina Flight School to take part in their first flight from the Florence Regional Airport.
Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 8:09 PM EST
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FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - Pee Dee students are taking their learning to new heights.

Students from Florence 1 Advantage Academy are showing the sky’s the limit. Some of them took part in their first-ever flights as part of the new aviation program being offered here.

“I see this as an amazing opportunity for me to actually become a pilot and chase my dream to become a military pilot, and this is crazy for me,” said student Dominic Dawson.

It’s a unique program for students in the Pee Dee.

Students from Florence 1 Advantage Academy joined Coastal Flight School to take part in their...
Students from Florence 1 Advantage Academy joined Coastal Flight School to take part in their first flight from the Florence Regional Airport.(wmbf)

“It’s something innovative, it’s something that very few other places in the country are doing. Like I said, almost nobody’s doing it at the high school level and we just wanted something exciting for the school, for the students,” said Cameron Shepard with Busines and Education Coordinator for Advantage Academy.

Shepard spent more than a year working on receiving grants from the Federal Aviation Association to start this new program.

This past semester, students worked towards completing the ground portion of the aviation program and practicing their new skills with a simulator.

Advantage Academy is partnering with Carolina Flight School for the flight training needed for students to obtain their private pilot’s license.

“I just hope they have a great time today, the weather’s not great, but it should be good, and I hope they’re going to go up and have a great time and fall in love with it like we did,” said Robby Peed, the co-owner of Carolina Flight School.

For some students, this is a dream come true.

“It feels amazing, it’s been my dream to be a pilot so now that I’m on the field, this is only my second time ever flying, so now that I’m on the field, so I’m really excited,” said Abigail Buddenborg, one of the students from Pee Dee.

“No matter what you think, no matter what other people believe, you can do anything basically. No matter what,” said student Mario Brunson.

Five students from Florence 1 Advantage Academy will earn a seat in next semester’s flight training portion of the Aviation Program.

Florence HS students aviation courses
Florence HS students aviation courses(WMBF)

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