Over 700 people attended a “200 Free Flights” event held by California-based flight school Sling Pilot Academy earlier this month. The event brought high school and college students to Torrance Municipal Airport (KTOA) for free introductory flights and other aviation-related activities including simulator sessions, a tour of Sling’s aircraft manufacturing facility and a one-hour presentation by SkyWest Airlines on the state of the airline industry and the pathway to becoming a pilot. The 200 flights themselves, which will use the academy’s Sling NGT aircraft, were rescheduled for March 25-26 due to weather.
The event was put on to celebrate Sling Pilot Academy’s new partnership with SkyWest Airlines, launching a pilot pathway program designed to allow a participant to “build seniority with the airline when they start their training” along with providing a $15,000 tuition reimbursement once they become a pilot at SkyWest. The academy also announced that it has received $500,000 in FAA grant money to be used to award full private pilot scholarships to 25 local students over the next 12 months. The first two scholarships were awarded at the 200 Free Flights event.