Peninsula Air's owner has his head in the clouds
June 12, 2008 · Updated 1:19 PM
"Peninsula Air Group is one South Kitsap business that's really taken off.Peninsula Air Group is a flight school located at the Bremerton National Airport. Phil File, Peninsula Air Group's owner and chief pilot instructor, started the company in the summer of 1999 with one aircraft and a small back room.We've come a long way, said File. We've accumulated three aircraft and have taken over the rest of the building.Peninsula Air Group is a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Certified and a Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) Part 141-approved flight school. Part 141 cerfication is the basic certification for flights schools. That means that the FAA has approved the course of instruction that the flight school has submitted and has achieved the minimum standard for flight training.Peninsula Air Group offers ground school courses through Olympic College.Basically, I started teaching night school in the Department of Continuing Education Studies (at OC) for a private pilot course, and it just grew from there, File said.The courses taught by File and two other fulltime flight instructors are for private pilot and instrument/commercial pilot ratings. The private pilot course teaches general aviation - the basics for a private pilots license, File explained. The instrument/commercial pilot course is the more professional end, for someone who wants to be in commercial aviation or a flight instructor.Students in the private pilot course learn rules and regulations of flying, basic meteorology, basic aerodynamics, navigation, and aircraft performance. Instrument/commercial students learn more in depth meteorology, instrumentation, chart reading, and commercial standard regulations.The ground school is taught at Olympic College and is the cost of regular tuition and books. To recieve the program certificate takes about three OC quarters, but plans are currently in the works for a two-year degree expansion of the program.As time progresses, I'll have more knowledge of it, said Phil File.File, himself, has been interested in flying for quite a while. Though he started flying in 1977 while attending college in Canada, the root of his love of flight comes from his younger days.When I was a little kid, I saw John Glenn and other astronauts on my black-and-white TV, he said. I definitely wanted to fly.Fike earned his commercial aviator license through the G.I. Bill when he was in the Active Marine Corps Reserve. After taking a leave from flying for five years and working in shipyards, File went back to flying in 1986.I decided to get back into it, he said. I got tired of working for other people.File is now working his way towards making Peninsula Air Group a fixed-base operation (FBO), which is basically a one-stop shop for different needs and offers a number of services. In addition to the flight school, Peninsula Air Group offers aircraft rental and scenic tours of the Puget Sound basin. File is hoping to add charter service to the list by spring.Another perk of the Peninsula Air Group is that Boeing is offering 10 hours of flight training at a flight school for which their employees can be reimbursed. File says that those employees can complete that training at Peninsula Air Group.It's getting the word out to them, said File. There's a lot of Boeing employees on the Peninsula. "