A special graduation party awaited the 32 graduates from the Icelandic Aviation Academy on Monday evening.
The graduates celebrated their long-awaited graduation by flying over the eruption site in Geldingadalur with their flight instructors in the midnight sun.
Decrease in number of flight students
The sun finally came out of hiding on Monday evening and a beautiful late sunset surprised the graduates. According to Vísir, flight instructors from the newly merged Flight Academy of Iceland met up at Reykjavík Airport on Monday evening in order to celebrate with their 32 students, graduating on June 11th.
Kári Kárason, the director of the Icelandic Aviation Academy, states that there has been a considerable decrease in the number of students since last year, when 84 students graduated. He blames this on the start of the pandemic in 2020, which made flying and teaching difficult. On the other hand, he claims, the eruption in Geldingadalur seems to have sparked interest in flight training – both in Iceland and abroad.
Geldingadalur from above is “like looking down to hell”
Kári is optimistic that more flight students will graduate in the future. The current training lasts three years.
During the flight to the volcano, the group flew with six planes in a diamond shape from Reykjavík to Keflavík, observing the phenomenal site. “I think it’s great to fly over the eruption. It may not be fun to fly straight over it because then you shake and tremble from the heat, but it is absolutely great. Like looking down into hell,” Kári says.
The graduate pilots in all six planes agree that the flight was spectacular. Kári adds, “It was a lot of fun. You feel like a little boy again.”
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