Several flight schools, business leaders, and local government officials in southeast Georgia have pooled their resources in order to provide the best flight training experience for the region and the local airports participating in the program. Flight training opportunities have diminished in recent years due to the economic conditions our country faces today. This effort gives new meaning to the phrase “united we stand. …”
The City of Vidalia in 2003 took over operation of the Vidalia Regional Airport and financed Vidalia Aviation Services, LLC to provide flight training and rental aircraft at the Vidalia airport. The business financed by the City of Vidalia has provided flight training to the local community and other airports in the region. As the cost of flight training increased the services provided by Vidalia Aviation Services expanded to other communities in the area. Bobby Smith is the owner and operator of Vidalia Aviation.
The City of Vidalia has been fortunate to have government officials who know the need for the local airport. Every community’s local airport is the doorway for business. If your local community does not have a viable airport, business is not coming. Business travels by air and if you cannot provide the welcome mat, they are not coming.
The principals of MidCoast Aviation Services are Mr. George Hitt of Top Flight Aviation in Statesboro, and Mr. Bobby Smith owner and operator of Vidalia Aviation Services. They realized the need for a Part 141 Pilot School to this region. The military veterans stationed primarily at Ft. Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah are without any flight training opportunities provided by their benefits from the Veterans Administration. There are no flight schools within 200 miles of the area certified or able to provide flight training for our veterans at these bases. MidCoast Aviation Services was formed primarily to provide these services for active military veterans to train while still in the military. Once they complete the required training they can make a smooth transition from military to civilian employment in the field of aviation without any lapse in employment.
The City of Reidsville and the Reidsville Airport Authority have provided assistance to MidCoast by making the FBO building at the Reidsville Municipal Airport available by lease to MidCoast. The City of Reidsville adopted a unanimous resolution to pay the Federal Aviation Administration for the cost of certification as this issue prevented certification for over two years. Though the city did not have to pay for the certification, their offer made it clear the city’s assistance was there when needed. Special thanks go to Mayor Eddie Rewis and the City Council of Reidsville.
Dr. Wayne Williams of Vidalia created Precision Flight Training another flight school at the Vidalia airport in 2011 with financing by the City of Vidalia. Dr. Williams, a Certified Flight Instructor, has greatly improved flight training at the Vidalia airport by constructing a flight simulator than can be used by students working on their instrument airplane rating. Having built several aircraft himself, he purchased a Cessna 172 for use in flight training.
The Statesboro Bulloch County Airport Commission has assisted MidCoast by renting an office in the terminal building and adding MidCoast to the lease of another building currently leased by Top Flight Aviation and Mr. George Hitt. George has offered use of offices in this building for flight training and testing services. George has been in the aircraft financing and brokerage business for over 30 years. His expertise has been very helpful to those wishing to buy aircraft.
Many other local business owners and individuals have provided funding and personal assistance to MidCoast to make this venture possible. Our goal is to provide the best possible flight training services and aircraft rental to the airports at Reidsville, Vidalia, and Statesboro. It is our desire to safely provide training for safe pilots in safe aircraft.
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