RANTOUL, Ill. (WCIA) — Like most businesses, the pandemic had a big impact, especially for ones that were just starting out before it hit. That was the case for a new helicopter business in Rantoul, but things are getting off the ground again.
“We just fly. That’s what we do,” says Aaron Wozencraft.
He owns the Rantoul Summer Skyz location, making it easy to reach new heights.
“So many people think that it’s a tough barrier to enter, but it’s not. Hopefully by seeing…normal people [fly]…they’ll be more inspired to join aviation and do something they’ve been dreaming about,” says Wozencraft.
His business opened nine months ago. Things did slow down for a while, but they are taking to the skies again.
He first took flight when he was a customer wanting to learn. Wozencraft then turned his new passion into a business.
“Rantoul is kind of a neat, little community. I feel like it needed something different,” he says.
With quite a few new businesses popping up in the village, Wozencraft says he’s happy to add to Rantoul’s revitalization.
Summer Skyz does quite a bit, including flight lessons and corn pollinating for area farmers.
“We come through. We hover and blow it around for them since nature isn’t doing that,” says Wozencraft.
With helicopters now closer to home, he says it has helped some farmers cut down on costs.
As for getting a beginner certified, flight instructor Jennifer Tremblay says it takes a lot of time and dedication on both ends.
“It’s a very rewarding thing because their achievements are my achievements,” she says. “It’s one of those things that kind of makes all the hard work…worth it.”