Bismarck schools buying plane for aviation students

January 15, 2020 GMT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Bismarck Public Schools is believed to the first district in North Dakota to own an airplane.

The School Board has given administrators the go-ahead to buy a Cessna 150, single-engine plane for the student aviation program at the district’s Career Academy.

District business manager Darin Scherr says the plane will cost between $15,00 and $30,000 depending on its condition, according to the Bismarck Tribune.

Owning a plane rather than renting one will save money for the district, as well as for the families of students in the program.

Using a rental plane costs families $10,850 a year and the district $6,650. Ownership will drop that by nearly half, to $5,350 a year for families and $2,963 for the district, according to Scherr. That includes yearly costs, such as insurance and hangar rental, as well as costs for engine and propeller overhauls, which occur every four years.

The Bismarck district has offered an aviation program for the past 12 years at the Career Academy where about 70 students are learning to fly a plane. Grand Forks, Fargo, Minot and Williston also have high school aviation programs.