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Penhold Flight Instructor Releases Updated Instruction Manual For the 21st Century


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Sky Wings Aviation founder Dennis Cooper lives to fly.

“2020 marks 50 years of flying for me,” said Cooper in a phone interview.  “I was a cadet and part of the glider program but got my pilots license in 1971 at Cold Lake before I even had my drivers license.”

Cooper later earned his Commercial license under Cecil Sorenson and other seasoned ex-Canadian Air Force pilots who transferred their tremendous knowledge base.  Working with Johnson Air Services and Pultz Aviation, he obtained his instrument rating and began his pilot career in earnest.

“One of the tools I had as a young pilot was the Pultz Instructor Manual and sometimes he (Pultz) would ask me questions and I would offer input,” he remembered.  “The original book was a 3-ring binder and we used that format for a long time at Sky Wings as well.”

Fast forward to the present.

“With current technology, many of our students wanted the manual in an electronic form so now instead of just having a softcover book that gets scuffed, dirty and ripped we now have a hardcover AND an electronic version for use everywhere,” added the instructor.  “Since the original book was written, much had changed.”

Changes to the original include an index which the first book did not have according to Cooper, modified levels of instructors, GPS information which did not exist years ago, procedures and general knowledge brought about by technology.

“We kept the artwork from the original,” said Cooper.  “It’s great and captures what we wanted.  We also added enhanced study and review questions based on feedback from students who have been through testing. The result is now a 558 page Instructors Manual that can follow a pilot from the beginning of their career to their end goal, no matter what that looks like.”

The new updated manual can be used in conjunction with Transport Canada publications.  It can adequately prepare a commercial pilot for the Transport Canada Flight Instructor written examination, the in-flight training and ground instruction, as well as the test flight.

Priced at $99 for the hardcover and $90 for the softcover, the “Cooper Flight Instructor Manual” is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters/Indigo and 3 flight suppliers at present.

“I bought Sky Wings Aviation in 1982 and even today I still feel the same when a new student flies for the first time.  I am excited when our students enter the plane, travel the runway and rise into the air for the first time for their first circuit, then return,” said Cooper whose wife Sherry also teaches at the school.  “I enjoy watching the transfer of knowledge from instructor to student, but most significantly, watching them conquer the air just like the Wright Brothers 118 years ago.”

Cooper is not finished yet with 3 more books ready to rewrite for the 21st century.

For more information on Sky Wings Aviation and the 9th Edition of the Cooper Flight Instructors Manual, go to:

Home – Skywings Aviation


Tim Lasiuta is a Red Deer writer, entrepreneur and communicator. He has interests in history and the future for our country.

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Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools picks up $30,000.00 tab to buy laptops for at-home schooling

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Photo includes, from left, Foundation Board Member Morris Flewwelling, Trustee and Foundation Board Member Bev Manning and Foundation Board Chair Dave Tilstra.

Foundation donates 90 Chromebooks to students in need

As equity, student success and completion are priorities for Red Deer Public Schools, officials have recognized the move to at-home or temporary online learning has presented challenges for some students and their families who do not have access to technology.

In response to this challenge, the Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools, recently donated 90 Chromebooks to schools to lend to students needing access to technology, totally $30,000.

Dave Tilstra, Chair of the Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools, said supporting students and ensuring they have the tools to learn is key to helping set kids up for success.

“Chromebooks will continue to be an important resource within schools and now at home. We are thrilled that we have been able to donate this much needed technology to students who would otherwise go without to ensure they have the best opportunities to continue learning,” he said.

Families who borrow a Chromebook from their child’s school are responsible for ensuring they have Wi-Fi connectivity and they will ‘sign out’ the devices and assume responsibility for their proper use and return.

“Equity is about fairness. The Foundation supports projects that help give kids life chances,” said Bruce Buruma, Executive Director for the Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools. “Families experience challenges during the best of times, but the past number of months have been tough for many. We know this donation will help ease one burden so students can focus on learning and families can focus on other priorities.”

The Foundation supports projects that align with the Division priorities of Literacy and Numeracy, Equity and Student Success and Completion.

For more information, please contact:

  • Bruce Buruma, Executive Director
  • Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools
  • Phone: 403-352-2827
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100 Women Who Care event results in significant boost to Central Alberta charities

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Congratulations to the community charitable organization 100 Women Who Care on a very successful fund / resource raising event on the weekend.  

From 100 Women Who Care

Thank you to everyone who participated in Saturday’s Drive Thru Meeting. As always, the generosity of all of you amazes us. 

To date, the tallies for the three charities are:

  • Family Services of Central Alberta – $3080
  • Alzheimer Society – $2490
  • Parkland School – $2090

There’s more!

  • Cindy filled her truck to the brim with donations of socks, gloves, toiletries, sanitary supplies, and warm clothing for Safe Harbour.
  • Judy Scott filled her vehicle with cookies, chocolates, crackers, and other goodies for The Gifts for Grandparents Program.
  • Donna Durham filled her vehicle with toys, games, and more for The Christmas Bureau. 

But it didn’t stop there!

  • $170 extra plus $50 in gift cards for Safe Harbour
  • $1450 extra for The Christmas Bureau
  • $50 extra for The Food Bank
  • $150 for the Children’s Advocacy Centre of Central Alberta

We have so many more reasons to be grateful:

  • Thank you for making our day and helping us kick off the festive season in the spirit of giving. We can’t think of a year when supporting ourcommunity has ever been more necessary.
  • Thank you to Judy and Donna for their help with the collections.
  • Thank you to Debbie and Robyn for hosting us at the Red Deer Golf and Country Club. Please pass on our appreciation to the chef for baking the fabulous festive cookies.

It’s not to late to donate. You can:

  • Drop off or mail a cheque to 4751-56 Street, Red Deer T4N 2K2
            • Donate online to The Alzheimer Society ( or Family Services of Central Alberta ( Please send us an email to let us know you donated so we can keep track of our tallies. At the moment, online donations to Parkland School are not available.
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