Saskatoon

Largest flight school in Saskatchewan turns 70

It’s been 70 years since Harold Mitchinson first opened his own flight school in Saskatoon following a stint as a flight instructor in the Second World War.

Anniversary celebrations feature free plane rides, vintage aircrafts

Mitchinson's Flight Centre had about a dozen aircraft on display for the public during its 70th anniversary celebration in Saskatoon on Saturday. (James Hopkin/CBC)

It's been 70 years since Harold Mitchinson first opened his own flight school in Saskatoon following a stint as a flight instructor in the Second World War.

Now, it's the largest flight school in Saskatchewan.

Mitchinson Flight Centre president Dan Glass thought it would be a good idea to celebrate the anniversary by giving the general public a bird's eye view of the city. Glass said his flight school had at least half a dozen Cessna 152 and Cessna 172 airplanes available in order to give people a free ride.

"We wanted to showcase Mitchinson's history and just have an open house for the public to come in and check out aviation and get some airplane rides in," Glass said.

In addition to free airplane rides throughout the day, the public had an opportunity to view a number of modern and vintage aircraft. STARS Air Ambulance, Saskatoon Police Services, and the Saskatchewan Aviation Historical Society was also on hand to show people its different types of aircraft. 

Glass said there's a sizable flying community in Saskatoon, pointing to the various aviation training programs offered through educational institutions such as Saskatchewan Polytechnic and Saskatchewan Institute of Indian Technologies. He said that the historical society will also be building a hangar for its vintage aircraft in the fall of 2016.

"We like to call this the centre of aviation excellence here in Saskatchewan, right here in Saskatoon," he said.