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High class flight

Ever since he was a little boy, Roger Pipkin has always been interested in flying.
“All little boys want to fly right?” he asked.
Pipkin, who now lives in Huntersville, started training to fly in 1958 and retired from GulfAir, an airline company out of Bahrain in the Arabian Gulf. He was a pilot there for four years.
He also used to fly out of the Lake Norman Airport before starting New Spirit Aviation, a flight training school in Iron Station, in October 2003.
Pipkin said once you start to fly, it gets in your blood.
“You just can’t help it,” he said. “You have to have a little juice in your life.”
At New Spirit Aviation there are three other instructors besides Pipkin.
The school has roughly 15 students, from beginner up to advanced.
Jill See, one of the flight instructors, loves flying because of all the breathtaking views.
“It is so pretty when you take off when the sun is setting,” she said. “The sky is purple, and it is so peaceful.”
Pipkin’s technique of teaching students is following a syllabus.
“That way there is a definite plan,” he said. “The student always knows what they are going to be doing next.”
Students come from all over, including Mooresville, Davidson, Mount Holly, even as far as Winston-Salem.
The minimum age to fly a plane solo is 16 years old.
In order to acquire a private license, one must be 17.
Kathy Jones, another flight instructor, has been training since 1987.
She loves all the people she gets to meet through the school.
“A lot of people come in and want to do it,” she said. “It’s like a dream for them and I help make it come true.”
She said as an instructor she has the same goals as the student.
“What makes a successful instructor is that they work as hard as the student does,” she said.
Pipkin makes sure all his students understand all the rules of flying and does not believe in memorizing.
“When things get tough, your memory fails,” he said
Students receive a manual of all the rules of flying.
New Spirit Aviation is located at 716 Airport Dr. in the Lincolnton-Lincoln County Airport.
For more information call 704-748-1554 or visit www.flynewspirit.com.by Amy Wadsworth

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