Pricey Fuel Won't Clip Flight Schools' Wings

April 14, 2008

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High fuel costs are making it pricier fly airplanes, but that's not keeping some flight enthusiasts on the ground.

Flight schools and clubs buy plenty of aviation fuel, and they've been pinched. Dean Ellis runs the school called Windy City Flyers. Ellis says fuel prices are cyclical.

ELLIS: This year, however, when it should have gone down in October, it stayed, and then started going up.

Filling up a small plane costs thirty-percent more than last year. Flight schools are passing along some of the increase, but Ellis and other school operators say students are sticking it out.

ELLIS: People's motivation for passion finds a way of getting justified. The cost of fuel or the increase costs of fuel is not the kind of thing that changes people's mind about something they feel passionate about.

Ellis says passion may not hold forever. He says ask him about the industry this summer; that's when aviation fuel usually costs the most.