GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL)- Bill Powley is an Air Force veteran, experienced pilot and teacher, and he’s giving young students opportunities to pursue their dreams of flying.
“What keeps me going are the kids,” said Powley. “Teaching high school for 22 years was pretty special.”
Powley told News Channel 11 that he started the Flight Foundation in 1998 to raise scholarship money for students in aviation programs.
“We’ve flown over 12,700 students, and every time, the kids get out of the airplane and tell their instructor ‘This is the neatest thing I’ve ever done in my life’,” said Powley. “It’s hard to quit that, that’s pretty special.”
Powley teaches students as part of various different programs, such as the Junior ROTC Program. One of those students, Coleson Younce, said it was his first time ever flying.
“At first, we hit off the ground and I thought I’d feel scared, but I felt really happy to be up there,” said Younce. “You look down and you see everything is like little specs on the ground like wow, man this view is amazing.”
Younce said it’s an honor to learn from Powley, an experienced pilot with over 50 years of flying experience.
“It’s nothing like I have ever experienced before,” said Caden Wihitton, another Junior ROTC cadet. “It feels like everything inside of you gets lifted up with the plane and it’s an amazing feeling.”
Wihitton said his plan after school is to be a search and rescue pilot for the Coast Guard.