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EAST ALTON/BETHALTO - Piston Aviation celebrated the opening of their second location at St. Louis Regional Airport.

Piston Aviation, a flight school with a location in Creve Coeur, Missouri, offers training to private pilots and sports pilots. Their new location in Bethalto will expand the flight school’s reach and, they hope, draw in more students to learn how to fly.

“This is our second location, so it represents an expansion of our business,” said Joseph Ord, who co-owns the business with Meghen Ord. “The community here has been extremely supportive, more so than we’ve seen at our other location, and we’re excited to be part of it…I really enjoy getting to support our students through their journey and their goals. And that’s really what’s the most amazing part about owning a flight school, is getting to be a part of people’s dreams.”

Community members celebrated the new location with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 30, 2024. Joseph explained that Piston Aviation offers private pilot licenses, instrument flight ratings, commercial time building, certified flight instructor training and more. Meghen noted that they already have several students signed up to learn at the St. Louis Regional Airport location.

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Dack Quigley, the site manager, said the building used to be “in terrible condition,” but he and the Ords “saw the vision.” They worked for several months to rehab the building so it would make a good location for Piston Aviation.

“Not only does the place look cool, but every aspect of it is designed to make the experience of being a student of aviation more efficient, more powerful, to make the whole experience of learning to be a pilot wonderful,” Quigley added. “To bring an awesome school experience to this community seems to be a great marriage. This community has been very supportive, much the same way that we intend to support the students. So it seems like a good fit.”

Meghen said they are also thinking about their next locations, and they hope Piston Aviation continues to grow. The flight school is still expanding, with plans to build three 5,000 square-foot hangars.

“We’re just really excited to show off all of our hard work and renovations and to get to know people in this community,” she said. “We’ve worked really hard over in Missouri to get people on board and for people to know us, and to have that happen here is going to be amazing.”

For more information about Piston Aviation Flight School, including how to sign up for lessons, visit FlyPiston.com or check out their official Facebook page.

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