Vance-Granville Community College will soon offer a course that prepares area residents to take flight with a private pilot’s license.
The Private Pilot Ground School is scheduled to be held on VGCC’s South Campus, located between Creedmoor and Butner, on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 until 9:30 p.m., May 18 through July 27. In this course, students gain the knowledge they will need to take the FAA private pilot written exam, under FAA-certified flight instructors from Blue Line Aviation. Students who complete the course will also receive a discount on an introductory flight lesson with Blue Line.
The instructor, Blue Line Aviation president Charles “Trey” Walters of Wake Forest, has deep connections to VGCC, even though this is his first time teaching the course in partnership with the college. His grandmother, Reba Walters, was a VGCC Nursing instructor. His father, Ray Walters (who is also a longtime pilot), taught business classes at VGCC after retiring from SAS in Cary.
Trey Walters took VGCC criminal justice courses through a dual-enrollment program while in high school. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. He also served in the Civil Air Patrol, and was awarded the Billy Mitchell Award for becoming a cadet officer. During his career in the Air Force Reserve, Walters was a member of the Security Forces, which included duties in the military police with some air base defense functions. He served a six month deployment to Iraq.
Walters continued taking online courses at VGCC while serving in the Air Force, even while in Iraq. When his tour of duty ended, he went back to classes at the Main Campus, became a Raleigh police officer and then completed his VGCC Criminal Justice degree after taking additional online courses.
Simultaneously, Walters continued to work on pilot training. He started flight training when he was 13. His first solo flight was on his 16th birthday, and he obtained his private pilot license when he was 17. He flew recreationally until 2011, when he decided to get more advanced certifications. Walters earned his Commercial Pilot license, Flight Instructor license, Instrument Instructor license, Commercial Multi-Engine license, and multi-engine instructor licenses in 2012.
In August of 2012, he founded Blue Line Aviation with his wife, Kelsey. The business grew rapidly, leading Walters to resign from the Raleigh Police Department to work there full-time in early 2013. Walters also rejoined the Civil Air Patrol in 2014. Currently, he serves as a Captain in the Raleigh Unit. He volunteers as a search and rescue mission pilot, instructor pilot and check pilot. “I believe that using our resources to give back and make a positive difference in the world is one of our most important duties as Americans,” Walters said. He is excited about the new venture with VGCC.
“There is a huge demand for pilots, mechanics, air traffic controllers, and training for drone operators. Through our partnership, we can build the programs and infrastructure to fill those jobs by veterans and members of the local community,” he said.
The cost of the Private Pilot Ground School, including all materials, is $280.
“We are excited about having a private pilot ground school here at VGCC, which is advantageously located near several airports,” said VGCC Personal Enrichment Coordinator Gail Clark. “Our partnership with Blue Line Aviation gives us the opportunity to offer this program and help students move to the next level with a team.”
The deadline to register for this class is May 17. Prospective students can register online at www.vgcc.edu/ped or in person at Main Campus (in Henderson), Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information, contact Gail Clark at (252) 738-3385 or firstname.lastname@example.org.