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Premier Smith visits Dave Rozdeba South Alberta Flight Academy

Posted on February 15, 2024 by Ryan Dahlman

By Samantha Johnson
Prairie Rose Public Schools

Premier Danielle Smith and MLA for Cypress-Medicine Hat Justin Wright, along with several other local dignitaries, took the time on Friday, February 2 to visit the Prairie Rose Public Schools (PRPS) Dave Rozdeba South Alberta Flight Academy. 

Arriving just before lunch, Smith was somewhat surprised by the reception as she thought she was only coming for a short tour. The event consisted of a catered lunch and Smith sat at a table with several Flight Academy students where she had a chance to listen to their experiences of being in the program.

During a short speech following lunch, Smith stated she talks about PRPS across the province as a model for other schools to follow. With Alberta’s aviation industry rapidly growing, Smith told those gathered that it can provide many rewarding careers.

“Sometimes it takes awhile for young people to get connected with their passion and so it’s pretty remarkable that you are able to not only pursue an academic pathway to graduate from high school, but also get into this kind of program, it’s miraculous to see,” said Smith.

Following lunch, four students accompanied Smith on a tour of the Flight Academy, which included the area where the students spend time each Friday building a second plane along with the area where the flight simulator is housed.

Following the tour, Smith got in a four-seater plane with Logan Neubauer, a graduate of the program who is now an instructor, for a short flight of the area. Wright also got to go up in the air in the first plane students of the Academy built with co-lead of the program Dana Marshall as pilot.

Neubauer treated the flight as he would with any student of the flight academy and let Smith fly the plane for a short time and stated she did very well. When asked if the landing was smooth, Neubauer commented the experience was a little nerve racking and that he’s had better landings, but it went okay.

Following the flight in the plane, Smith was escorted immediately to HALO 1 where Captain Ryan Shrives ensured she was buckled in safely. Superintendent of PRPS Dr. Reagan Weeks was also able to hop in the helicopter for the flight, which was the finale of the Premier’s visit to the Flight Academy.

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