Tragedy Motivates Pilot Community To Build Flight Training Center

On April 22, 2011, Dylan (35), Amy (34), Chase (7) and Ansley (5) Spencer of Scott City, Kansas, perished near Topeka, while flying to visit family for Easter weekend. The weather was good VFR when they departed in Scott City, but deteriorated at their destination in Topeka.

The Spencer family left behind a town that had been incredibly touched by their enthusiasm and involvement in the community. The accident reminded local pilots of the need to have access to resources and training opportunities to keep their skills as sharp as possible.

Aviation plays a very important role in Western Kansas, and is part of the very social fabric from which many towns and communities are built. In fact, Scott County has the highest number of pilots per capita in the state of Kansas with nearly one (1) pilot for every 100 citizens, almost four times that of the state average of 1 to 400. Additionally, Western Kansas has more than 870 pilots, making flying a key component of the local economies because of the remoteness of the state.

In order to provide a valuable resource to meet this need, the Spencer Flight and Education Center was established as a state-of-the-art training and educational facility that not only targets the large regional pilot population, but also present various programming opportunities to non-pilots and youth. The center consists of  an educational center and Redbird FMX flight simulator, and is a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization.

Persons interested in donating to the center may send their tax-deductible contributions to Spencer Flight and Education Center, 300 S. Mesquite Road, Scott City, KS 67871, or call 620-874-5075.

Photos of the center and Spencer family are posted online at

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