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Lloyd Aspires to Get Pilot's License

August 30, 2023

(Lamoni High School student Kelly Lloyd seen here with local pilot/mentor Roy Havens)

With the help of two local pilots, a Lamoni student aspires to become a pilot herself. Kelly Lloyd, after working as a member of the ground crew for Jordan Omstead, local pilot who operates Stardust Ag Crop Dusting, got the bug to want to learn to fly. She plans on attending Indian Hills College to attain her pilot's license.

"This is wonderful news," stated Roy Havens, local pilot. "With older pilots retiring, there are not enough younger pilots coming up the ranks to fill those positions." According to Jefferies Research Services, aviation is facing a shortage of approximately 5,000 pilots. This firm predicts that this deficit will rise to 12,000 pilots by 2025 and 14,000 by 2030.

Both Havens and Omstead have taken Lloyd under their wings to help her harness her passion to want to fly. "We have taken her up in our planes and given her the opportunity to see what it is like."

Lamoni High School has taken the next step in helping foster the interests of young pilots. According to Central Decatur/Lamoni Superintendent Chris Coffelt, the Lamoni School recently received a Monsanto Grant for $10,000 which allowed them to purchase an Aviation Simulator. Sara Burke, instructor at Lamoni, works with the students on the simulator and has started an Aviation Club to hel foster the interests of the students.

According to Havens, the AOPA recognized the pilot shortage years ago and developed a four-year high school curriculum offering free to any high school. "I brought this information to the Central Decatur Administration approximately five years ago and I was saddened by the fact they did not choose to participate. They would have been the first in Iowa to have the program," stated Havens. Currently there are six schools in Iowa and 500 nationwide that have this program implemented.

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