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More than 70 islanders have earned a pilot certificate or rating at Westwind Aviation in Friday Harbor

Front row from left, Loren DeShon, Frank Brame, John Rennie, Bill Morrisey, Dustin Geldermann, Wayne Fitzgerald, Mary Ellen Courtney, Sid Smith, Teresa DeGraff, Roy Franklin, Steve Franklin, David Marsaudon, Jonathan Taylor, Allan Willis. Back row from left, Daniel Kang, Craig VanderYacht, Andrew Scheffer, Doug Polda, Ted Lieker, Tom Eades, Vince Dauciunas, Al Davis, Christopher Burke, Greg Gerhardstein, Todd Gardner, Gordy Banry, Steve Billmeyer, Chris Teren, Boon Vongsamart, Dan DeShon.  - Submitted photo
Front row from left, Loren DeShon, Frank Brame, John Rennie, Bill Morrisey, Dustin Geldermann, Wayne Fitzgerald, Mary Ellen Courtney, Sid Smith, Teresa DeGraff, Roy Franklin, Steve Franklin, David Marsaudon, Jonathan Taylor, Allan Willis. Back row from left, Daniel Kang, Craig VanderYacht, Andrew Scheffer, Doug Polda, Ted Lieker, Tom Eades, Vince Dauciunas, Al Davis, Christopher Burke, Greg Gerhardstein, Todd Gardner, Gordy Banry, Steve Billmeyer, Chris Teren, Boon Vongsamart, Dan DeShon.
— image credit: Submitted photo

More than 70 islanders have earned a pilot certificate or rating at Westwind Aviation in Friday Harbor.

The company honored new pilots at its annual Open House Aug. 14.

Airport founder Roy Franklin was honored by all in attendance for making it all possible. Pilots on hand for a photo have earned private pilot certificates, commercial certificates, and instructor and instrument ratings.

New pilots include teen-agers Carl Schmidt, Blake Guard, Andrew Scheffer, Maddy Smith and Jens Townsdin, as well as those who are young-at-heart like Wayne Fitzgerald and Barb Stepp.

Chief Instructor Dan DeShon and instructor Allan Willis have more than 7,000 hours of instruction time between them and more than 21,000 total flight hours. DeShon is a Gold Seal certified flight instructor and Cessna factory trained G1000 specialist. He recently became an FAA safety team representative.

Willis is an experienced Alaska bush pilot who has flown charter operations in Alaska, Hawaii and Montana in single-engine and twin-turbine equipment.

Westwind’s newest instructor and charter pilot, Dustin Geldermann, earned his CFI through Westwind. All of his students have passed their checkride on their initial attempt.

Several pilots went home with door prizes, including a free flight that went to Wayne Fitzgerald.

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