Mount Pleasant Fly-in:
Opportunities for Top Flight Students
Mt. Pleasant, Utah
Johnson, an educator, pilot, and owner of Top
Flight Academy, never considered using anything illicit
because she never wanted to jeopardize the privilege
she had of flying
airplanes. After working with at-risk students for over a
decade with her husband Kent, they decided to combine their
love of aviation and youth into an emotional growth school.
Hence Top Flight Academy was established. More information
can be found on our website or by contacting
Jeff Hintze, C.P.C.I., Executive Director.]
For two days, students at Top Flight Academy, a specialized
state licensed, structured treatment program, cleaned the
grounds at Mt. Pleasant Airport in preparation for the local
fly-in. During the fly-in, these students escorted incoming
aircraft to their tie-down positions, then later, were able
to mingle with aviation enthusiasts and pilots, to discuss
their love of aviation.
The students have enrolled at Top Flight Academy to learn
and practice life-changing skills, and also to be immersed
in the study of aviation. Best of all, Top Flight students
are working toward their pilots license, which builds self
confidence, a strong sense of self esteem and develops skills
necessary to succeed in life.
Top Flight Academy, located south of Salt Lake City, Utah
in the small rural town of Mount Pleasant, has an airport
that is ideal for flight training. Several aircraft were
in this local fly-in show including a replica of the Wright
Brother’s historic aircraft, which appears in the photo.
Skydivers landed at the airport after jumping out of a Cessna
182 at 8000 feet, which added to the excitement.
The students who had the opportunity to participate in the
fly-in not only are earning the opportunity to learn how
to fly an airplane; they are also acquiring the skills necessary
to turn their lives around. Top Flights’ highly trained professional
clinical staff, who are certified in Positive Peer Culture,
also share a passion for flight. They work within the environment
created at this emotional growth school to establish the
conditions that support their students’ desire to fly. At
the same time, the staff motivates the students to acquire
the critical thinking skills necessary to solve emotional,
social and cognitive problems. This helps create in the students
the desire to change their previous behavior.
The same skills that need to be internalized during flight
training are transferred to everyday living by using the
Positive Peer Culture as a framework, which helps students
begin to see things more critically. The peer interaction
helps them to see how their decisions have natural consequence
that must be considered from every angle. They begin to realize
that exercising good judgment, as is required to pilot an
aircraft, will affect their own lives and the lives of others
in positive ways.
Critical thinking and good judgment are the cornerstones
of aviation safety. While in the air, pilots are constantly
thinking and re-thinking the simultaneous processes of piloting,
navigating, and safety. There are never too many precautionary
measures to be taken. Every move and decision a pilot makes
must be critically analyzed in order to be safe. While on
the ground, pilots must also meticulously prepare for the
decisions they will need to make once they are airborne.
The pre-flight planning includes filing flight plans, plotting
courses, calculating fuel, and considering weather, wind,
and FAA restrictions. Every decision a pilot makes has natural
consequences that must be considered seriously, and as much
information as possible needs to be gathered in advance in
order to assure the best decisions.
It is a highly regarded skill to be able to clearly analyze
a situation and make appropriate decisions that involve exercising
good judgment. A willingness to change one’s point of view
as a result of examination and re-examination helps one to
be open to a broader range of experience, without being limited
by bias. This enables a person to more clearly discover the
truth of a situation. Teaching students to think critically
and apply sound judgment in their lives is a difficult task.
Aviation experience enables students to increase their opportunity
to practice these skills, and as they accumulate practice,
they become more skilled in applying critical thinking in
their everyday lives.
Correlating flight training with Positive Peer Culture gives
Top Flight Academy a unique opportunity to help students
help themselves. Positive Peer Culture motivates students
to create internal change that leads to long-term success,
in contrast to the kind of short-term compliance that is
done merely to avoid punishment. In addition, students leave
Top Flight Academy with a higher level of self-esteem, self-confidence
and a possible aviation career.