Regina's only flight training facility, the Regina Flying Club is also Canada's longest continually operating flight school, operating since 1927. The Regina Flying Club (RFC) emerged during the post WWI flying boom. In 1927 (the same year Charles Lindbergh made his historic trans-Atlantic solo flight), the RFC first began operations with two DeHavilland Moths in the fleet. Following construction of a new hangar (now the Government of Saskatchewan hangar), the RFC began training new pilots and boasting a membership of 128 aviation enthusiasts. Dual instruction cost $15 per hour and $10 per solo hour. Among the early rules of the club, was the requirement for all solo flights to be conducted within three miles of the aerodrome and any cross country flights required explicit permission from the board of directors.
Thankfully, things have changed!
The club added two more Moths in 1929 with the assistance of the federal government. The new aircraft bore the registrations CF-CAE and CF-CAM.
Into the 1930’s, aviation continued to grow and fantastic rates. At the time, the RFC chief instructor was Roland Groome, the first commercially licensed pilot in Canada and the namesake of the Regina International Airport which is now known as Roland J. Groome Field. The club also enjoyed the new asphalt runway at the Regina Airport, the only such runway between Montreal and Vancouver.
As WWII began, the RFC committed to training members of the Royal Air Force as well as the Royal Canadian Air Force as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training program. Over two thousand pilots earned their wings over the Saskatchewan prairie before heading overseas to do battle with the Axis countries, using Tiger Moth and Cornell aircraft.
The post war years saw a huge growth in commercial aviation in Canada and Saskatchewan and the RFC played a key role in training many aspiring career pilots. The club utilized several different types of airplanes until settling on a fleet consisting primarily of Cessna aircraft in the 1980’s.
The RFC clubhouse often was the place to be on a Saturday night in Regina through the 60’s and 70’s, hosting many bingoes, lobster nights, dances and other community events.
Today, the Regina Flying Club is the only flight training facility on the airport and trains dozens of new pilots every year. RFC graduates have gone on to fly commercial passenger jets for many airlines around the world, as well as regional carriers, bush flying and military aircraft. The RFC also hosts various Royal Canadian Air Cadet training programs, Civil Air Search and Rescue (CASARA) exercises, and is one of the training sites of the SIAST Commercial Pilot program.
Each May, the club celebrates the achievements of its students and staff at its annual Wings Night which also attracts keynote speakers from around the aviation community, including past graduates and military aviation experts. In early June, the annual Open House offers the public an opportunity to get up close and personal with aviation with civilian and military aircraft on display, as well as informational displays from various aviation groups and companies.
The Club currently operates a fleet of seven aircraft for training and rental, a state of the art simulator, and offers pilot supplies, fuel for sale and hangar facilities.