GEORGETOWN — While most students are sitting at a desk working in a classroom, a select few are literally flying high.
The Georgetown Independent School District’s aviation program is the only high school class in Texas that gives students hands-on experience around the airport.
Some students in the program choose to pursue their pilot’s licenses while others learn the mechanics behind how the planes work.
For junior Nathaniel Bowman, it’s a chance to spend 40 hours in the cockpit during school hours and earn his license, something that most aspiring pilots achieve on weekends at a much higher cost.
“With the help of the school it’s a lot cheaper, you actually get some class time to go out and fly, work on your tests to get your pilot’s license,” said Bowman.
Senior Cade Stanfield spends most days tinkering with plane’s motors. He didn’t know what he wanted to do before taking the class, now he’s set on fixing planes.
“You’re not sitting in a classroom all day learning equations, or laws of physics of how a plane works, you’re actually going out and seeing it and working on it with you own hands,” he said.
The program currently has 34 students enrolled. First-year students remain in the classroom, but second-year students and above can come out to the airport and try things out for themselves, rather than just read about it in a text book.
Through the class, teacher Dan Weyant is positioning his students to get jobs.
“They can go to an employer and say ‘look I’m not an expert on this but I’ve got the basics,'” said Weyant.
“One of the main reasons I actually want to get my pilot’s license is so I can go to either the Air Force or Naval Academies and become an aviator there,” Bowman said.
Students typically save more than a thousand dollars getting their pilots license through the aviation program.
The partnership between the district and airport has been in place 14 years.