LAKEVILLE, Minn. (WCCO) — Flight lessons, for free? Four teens in the Civil Air Patrol are getting that chance because one instructor wanted to give back.

The only thing the students have to pay for is the fuel.

Instructor Paul Van Brunt donates hundreds of hours without asking for much in return.

“You can give back to some of the things you’ve been given in life and it’s my opportunity now to give back to them,” said Van Brunt. “They have to be punctual, they have to enjoy what they’re doing and they have to be enthusiastic about it.”

The Civil Air Patrol focuses on three programs: Cadet Programs, Aerospace Programs and Emergency Services.

The students, ranging from ages 16-18, feel lucky to be part of the program.

“Considering at the flight school it would probably cost $150-160 an hour. It saves me a lot of money, a lot of time and he’s an excellent instructor,” said Luke Hubers.

“To be able to defy all the rules of gravity is just so cool; it’s awesome,” said Anastasia Smith “Learn leadership skills … you learn countless things and get amazing opportunities.”

To Van Brunt, he’s just happy to see the students’ joy and he hopes more get involved in the program.

One student wants to be a mission flight pilot, another will continue her military training, another wants to fly her family to Florida and the last plans to become a commercial pilot.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Civil Air Patrol, there’s a meeting tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Airlake Airport near Lakeville. The public is invited to attend.

  1. Alex Byland says:

    Hi, I just wanted to let everyone know that I obtained my private pilot license on 2/11/12. I will be starting on my instrument rating training in a couple of weeks.

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