Chico's Northgate Aviation Stresses Safety Skills for Future Pilots

Action News Now reporter Jafet Serrato finds out how local pilots are trained in safety skills. The National Transportation Board (NTSB) says there have been 93 deaths from plane crashes so far in 2018.

Posted: Oct. 6, 2018 10:28 PM
Updated: Oct. 8, 2018 11:57 AM

CHICO, Calif. - The National Transportation Safety Board says there have been 93 deaths involving plane crashes in California so far in 2018. The 2017 death toll was 107.

One pilot school in Chico is making sure safety is their number one priority. Northgate Aviation Chico Jet offers extensive safety training to their students, so they can avoid accidents and crashes.

Garry Pohrman, Director of Flight Operations for Northgate Aviation, says pilot error is only one problem that occurs that can cause a crash.

He says mechanical problems may also be an issue because an airplane "is a machine."

Pohrman knows all the steps to check the plane before taking off and provides those checklists to his student pilots. That list has about 20 items to check off before each flight.

They have to check everything on the plane, said Pohrman, adding that the main things to look out for are weather, oil and fuel. He says planning ahead is critical. The final step before takeoff is to put the seatbelt and the harness together, to ensure pilot and passenger safety.

Recent deaths in the North State, including a plane crash at Redding's Benton Airpark, leave Pohrman and his students on high alert. They are anxious to find out what happened in that Redding crash.

"We're anxious to get the NTSB report so everybody can look at it," he said.

That way, his pilots and students will not suffer the same results.

Northgate Aviation Chico Jet has been around for a decade now. They have three instructors who are anxious to make sure their students are as safe as possible while they are training, and in the future when they are fully licensed pilots.

Northgate Aviation is located at 109 Convair Avenue next to the Chico Airport.

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