GILA’s Aviation courses are taught by Joelle Petersen.


Students in the Aviation Program graduate with a private pilot’s license. The school owns a Cessna 150 and a Cessna 172 as well as a Frasca flight simulator.


Students begin their training in Private Pilot Ground School. In this class they build a foundation of knowledge about aviation that is applicable to many aviation related vocations. After Ground School students are offered the opportunity to further their pilot training by participating in our Private Pilot Flight School Program. During this class students complete the aeronautical training and experience requirements to obtain a Private Pilot Certificate to operate single-engine airplanes.


Due to the rigorous coursework involved in Aviation, ground school is open to 10th – 12th grade students with preference given to 2nd year GILA students. After completion of at least one year of ground school, students can then apply to get into Flight School. Acceptance into the GILA flight program is competitive and space is limited.


ERA Alaska has continued to be a supporter of the Aviation Program through monetary gifts and OJT (on-the-job-training) positions at their local office.

Through ERA’s generous donations we have been able to bring second instructors onboard, allowing students to have additional flight time.


Galena Aviation Program graduate, Kaylin Kopp, earned her private pilot’s license as a student in the program. Since 2001, GILA has seen 11 students earn private pilot’s licenses, two students earn their instrument ratings, and had 26 students take their solo flights.


With the help of students, Galena has been able to start a Civil Air Patrol squadron. This partnership has allowed the Aviation Program to use Alaska Civil Air Patrol’s Cessna 172. The school owns a Cessna 150 and a Cessna 172 as well as a Frasca flight simulator.