The Regina Flying Club (RFC) has been part of Regina since its inception in 1927 and it has continued to evolve over the ensuing years to remain an important part of the community.
For the uninitiated, the RFC is seen as a place for pilots to hang out when they’re not flying but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The RFC is a multi-faceted organization that offers a plethora of services to the community.
The RFC’s flight training programs include:
- Recreational Pilot Permit
- Private Pilot License
- Commercial Pilot License
- Night Endorsement
- Multi-Engine Rating
- Instructor Rating
- Instrument Rating
The RFC runs its own Professional Pilot Program, a self-paced Commercial Pilot Program and is also affiliated with the Sask Polytechnic Commercial Pilot Diploma Program. Canada is facing a severe shortage of pilots and James Topinka, RFC’s general manager, believes these programs provide a golden opportunity for people interested in flying for a living.
“Having a commercial pilot license basically means you can get paid to fly,” explained Topinka. “So whether you’re an instructor, a water bomber, a bush pilot, fly an air ambulance, or you’re with an airline, these options are available through this program. It’s an amazing variety of jobs and the variety of businesses that might benefit from that one license.
“Working with Sask Polytech, it’s a professional designation that indicates you’ve been trained by that educational institution . . . A lot of folks don’t know RFC is also a recognized educational institution that students can use RESP savings, student loans and other educational funding options toward our commercially focused programs as well.”
With remote classroom development in the works, students can stay in Regina whether they opt for the Sask Polytech Commercial Pilot Program or one of the RFC direct Commercial Pilot Programs.
RFC’s Private Pilot License course allows students to progress at their own rate. The course can be completed in anywhere from eight weeks to one or two years. The ground school for the course runs from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays with the RFC offering four ground school intakes per year from September to June.
The course includes the legal requirements of 40 hours of ground school and 45 hours of flight training, of which at least 17 hours are dual with your instructor and at least 12 hours are solo.
Two other popular RFC programs are Discovery Flights and Pilot For An Hour. In a Pilot For An Hour flight, you get to fly with an instructor who performs the takeoff and landing. Once airborne and away from the airport, you will take over the controls and fly the plane.
“Some people have it on their bucket list to fly a small plane and a Pilot For An Hour Flight facilitates that and could serve as the first step to getting licensed as a pilot,” said Topinka. “The instructor is right beside you with their hands near the controls should you require some help but it’s a fantastic experience.”
Sightseeing and rental services provided by the RFC are also beneficial to Regina and its business community.
Small aircraft allows for companies to travel further in a single day than by driving or resorting to a virtual meeting. The sightseeing services allow for Regina residents and businesses to display the city from a unique and impressive vantage point.
“For people visiting or as for use as a business tool, those flights and tours are pretty cool to be able to talk to and frame a discussion about our home,” said Topinka. “It’s a really good way to show our home, to show Regina, to see the stadium, to see the Global Transportation Hub. If they’re not from the Prairies, it allows for someone to see exactly what the Land of the Living Skies is all about.”
For more information on the RFC, head online to https://reginaflyingclub.ca/.