Mar 21, 2016 12:29 PM by Cecile Juliette
There's nothing quite like Northern California on the first day of Spring after a winter filled with storms. And there's no better way to see it than from 2,000 feet in the sky. Harold Schooler grew up in Chico. He became interested in aviation as a young man, and got his pilot's license in the 1970's. These days, he takes passengers up in his antique, 1929 Travel Air bi-plane. "That's Table Mountain over there, and wildflowers," says Schooler, as he points out landmarks on video from his most recent flight. On this day, he's flying at 2,000 feet, roughly 100MPH ground speed. It's the perfect distance from the ground to see the bright greens and yellows of the wildflowers on Table Mountain.
Schooler says general aviation is suffering. He says it's becoming increasingly more expensive to attain a pilot's license, and with a shrinking middle class, fewer people can afford it. "It's losing steam," says Schooler. "I don't think it'll ever die because there are people passionate about doing it. I think it'll still be there, it's part of our existence, our American fabric. But it is shrinking."
Schooler says he takes people for flights in his plane to offset the cost, and he doesn't make money on it. Says Schooler, "There's an old joke. If you want to make a million flying an airplane, start with start with two million." He hopes more young people will become interested in aviation, because the loss of the industry would cost the nation countless jobs.
If you'd like to find out more about Schooler and his plane, follow this link: http://www.aircarriageinc.info/classic-biplane-rides.html
Schooler will also be offering rides on Oroville Airport Day, May 14.
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