MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — Currently, there is a shortage of pilots and other aviation workers in our country. But what programs are available for people to learn to fly? Especially young people?

“No one’s learning anything unless you’re having fun,” said Meric Murphy, the aviation instructor at Minot High School.

And the students in Meric Murphy’s aviation technology classes are having fun, while also learning how to fly planes.

“What we’re learning covers anything from advanced aerial maneuvers to IFR flight, which is what we’re doing currently where the aircraft are only going off of their instruments, which IFR stands for instrument flight rating, where they are unable to see outside the plane and are only going based off of what their plane can tell them and what the air traffic controller can tell them,” said Noah Miller, a senior in the Aviation II class.

The Aviation program at Minot High School is in its 8th year.

Murphy says he started the program after being a flight instructor for nearly 50 years.

“We piloted the whole program. Started off with state sponsorship to help get equipment here, because of the lack of the pilots in North Dakota,” said Murphy.

Miller says he developed a love for flying in this high school program.

And it won’t stop there.

He’s already been accepted into an aviation program for college.

“Our flight program here has good connections with the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. And so, I’m going to, using my experience from this class, go into the commercial aviation program,” said Miller.

And Miller won’t be the only success story.

Murphy says often his students will catch a flight to pilot school.

“One of the pilots, in particular, graduated, and a year and a half later, he was right seat in a jet. So we have great potential, depends on the economy right now though,” said Murphy.

Miller says the aviation classes are interesting for students to take, whether they want to be a pilot or not.

Approximately 3,600 pilots live in North Dakota, according to the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission.