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New opportunities at the Huntington Airport
February 11, 2011
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  • February 1, 2011

    Jody Cox, a local boy, has returned to Emery County with his family. His wife’s name is Anne and they have five children. They are as follows: Kristine (10), McKenzie (8), Paige (7), Sunny (3), and Skylen (18) months. His father and mother are Duane and Laura Cox of Huntington.

    Cox, after being away from Emery County for a time, plans to start a school for people interested in flying airplanes at the Huntington Airport. He lives at the airport as the assistant manager to Leon DeFriez, the County Airport Manager.Cox plans to start a company named Sunny Sky Flight Service.

    Cox has been a flight instructor for about 10 years. He started learning to fly at the Price Airport. Then he went to the Utah Valley University and finished there when it was still UVSC. His next stop for training was the flight club at the Bountiful Sky Park Airport. There he earned the rest of his ratings and became a Certified Flight Instructor, while pumping fuel into airplanes. After that he was employed with Pinnacle Airlines as an aircraft dispatcher. Pinnacle Airlines is Northwest Air Link air carrier. They are subcontracted out by Northwest Airlines. Pinnacle does the same thing for Northwest Airlines as Sky West does for Delta Airlines. Pinnacle is a regional carrier for Northwest Airlines.

    Cox said, “As an aircraft dispatcher, I made out all of the captains flight plans, checked all of the regulations, checked the aircraft performance, the weight balance data, made sure that everything was legal and safe for the flight. Then I would follow the pilots flight path on radar to make sure that he arrived at his destination safely. I would steer him around any bad weather hazards or any delays in the traffic control system. I would do that for about 160 flights per day. On a slow day it was about 60 flights. The average was about 85 flights. However, if someone called in sick. Then I had to take over dispatching his flights. This was sometimes stressful, but I love aviation.

    “From there I came back to Utah and worked in an ESL (English as a second language) school. I then went to Spanish Fork and began instructing as a flight instructor at a company there for two or three years.

    “I was working in West Jordan running a flight school. We had about 18 aircraft and about that many flight instructors. I was running the whole show there. The name of the company was Air Center of Salt Lake and they got into some difficulties and laid off most of their workforce.

    “Then I took a job in Huntington as a school teacher at Huntington Elementary. At Huntington Elementary I am teaching English language learners. I teach those students who need help with English. I started teaching here in October of 2010. When I saw all of the improvements at the airport, I remembered that I had run a flight training school on the Wasatch Front. This made me want to get an airplane and teach some Emery County people to fly because I love doing it.

    “I contacted Leon DeFriez and told him of my background and experience. Leon told me he would like to see some people at the airport, giving flight instruction. Several people from the community have indicated they would like to get a pilot’s license and I would love to teach them.

    “The equipment that I will use is yet to be determined. I am trying to locate a Cessna 172 airplane. I have contacted several people about getting a lease plane with an option to buy. I would like to find an aircraft, and then learn how much interest there is in the community. I would like to start a flight club here at the airport. The people who want to get their license could buy a share of the airplane that we would all share. I will teach the club members how to fly, and they’ll be able to go where they want to go.

    “The cost per hour for flight instruction will be from $35’40 per hour, but that does not include the cost of fuel and the rental of an aircraft.

    “To get a pilots license, with the flight instructor, the aircraft rental, all of your books and all of the supplies necessary, typically costs between $6,000’8,000. That is for about 40’45 hours of flying time. Federal Aviation Regulations require 40 hours to get a pilots license. The national average to get a pilot’s license is about 75 hours. It depends on how often you want to fly. It is self’paced, but the slower you go the longer it takes.

    “In addition to flying time, we also expect to start a ground school for the book training of pilots.

    “For a person to solo. It takes about 8’10 hours of flight time. It depends upon aptitude and how well you control that airplane. I will not send someone into the air that can’t control the airplane.

    “Because of the restricted air space during the 2002 Winter Olympics, I took one of my flight club airplanes and parked it here at the Huntington airport for several weeks while I was doing instrument training. Only planes that had permission from the federal government could fly in and out of airports in and around Salt Lake. This airport was 50 miles outside of that restricted zone. I continued instructing pilots here using a Piper Warrior aircraft.

    “I am familiar with the winds around this airfield. I grew up in Huntington. My best cross wind landings have been at this airport,” said Cox.

    DeFriez said, “We are at the point where we want to establish other businesses here at the airport and one of those businesses is flight instruction which Cox can provide. We are still working on getting an aircraft mechanic at this airport.

    “We will have a meeting and open house at the airport Feb. 5 at 10 a.m, to see how many people are interested in joining a flight club and buying a partial share of an airplane and make it available so flight training could take place. We invite anyone interested in aviation to the meeting Feb. 5,” said DeFriez.

    The Director of Aviation is known for a quote, “If you build a mile of road you have a mile of road if you build a mile of runway you have a gateway to the world.” For more information contact: Leon DeFriez 381’2434 and Jody Cox 801’687’2345.

    EMERY COUNTY PROGRESS2011-02-01false