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The sky above the Coachella Valley is often sunny and clear. The cloudless conditions make it easy to pick out a small aircraft as it materializes out of a mountain range on the horizon, then corkscrews and performs a grand loop-the-loop before heading home to the Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport. The shiny blue Citabria plane is the resident aerobatic aircraft at JacksonAir Flight Training. The company's owner, Scott Mourhess, who dreamed of G-forces and airborne antics as a little boy, now oversees a fleet of no fewer than six aircraft used to train commercial and private pilots.
Scott and his fellow FAA-certified flying instructors occupy prime aviation real estate. The skies above their Thermal airport often draw pilots from other flight schools in the Palm Springs region, who flock to the area for the ideal practice conditions and absence of lines at sky tollbooths. The veteran instructors also take novice pilots on 20- to 30-minute flights that introduce them to the excitement being in a cockpit and the thrill of flying.
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