Prep School Address Helps Aviation Class


Plenty of people in the mid-Valley aren’t very pleased to live near the country’s busiest general aviation airport.

But the folks at Montclair College Prep are thrilled.

The Van Nuys private school has launched a flight training school designed to expose students to all aspects of aviation. Six students and two instructors meet daily and frequently make the two-mile trip to Van Nuys Airport, as they did this week to try out the controls of a Cessna 172 and tour the B-25 bomber that was used in the film “Catch-22” and is still flying today.

“Instead of just doing the dry stuff in the classroom, we can come out here and show them what it’s all about,” said instructor Philip Schwarz, himself a Montclair graduate. “We also tune a radio in at school so we can listen to the tower. It’ll make them that much more familiar when they get closer to flying.”


Training began about a month ago. Students could take to the skies as early as late May, instructors say, provided they stay on track.

That thought widens the eyes of students like Zak Winnick and Daniel Feldmar, both 15 and in ninth grade.

“I’ve always been into flying. I remember my dad taking me out here to watch planes take off and land,” said Zak, who demonstrated that upbringing by ticking off names of planes as they eased down the runways.

“Once we fly and tell everybody at school about it, they’ll all want to join,” Daniel added.

Spotting Montclair from the air is an image that appeals to seventh-grader Marvin Banks.

“My brother has always been into planes,” he said with a grin. “He always used to tease me, asking me which planes were which. It used to make me mad. But now I’m flying it, so I know what all the planes are.”