SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Morningside University’s new school of aviation is proving that the sky’s the limit.

“This is a three year in the making process and I stepped in in February to get the paperwork started with the FAA…There’s been a lot of groundwork up to this point.”

Valerie Mejia became the first Morningside School of Aviation student to fly a plane. She told KCAU 9 that her dad is her inspiration.

“My dad is an airline pilot so I kind of just followed his footsteps and Morningside opened up the program so I was like really excited to join that,” Morningside Aviation Freshman Valerie Mejia said.

The Chief Flight Instructor at Morningside University explains what Valerie went through before gearing up for flight.

“That process starts with ground training every day in the classroom at Morningside and then flight training at the airport. And they go through their first rating as a private pilot. So these students will be soloed and have their written done by Christmas and they’ll have their rating probably by spring, or April or May…We’re going to go east of the city and do some basic maneuvers, get Valerie comfortable with the airplane, straight and level, turns, we fly what’s called a rectangular pattern to prepare them for the pattern when they get back to the airport,” Diedrechs said.

Mejia explains why she is drawn to aviation.

“It’s really the feeling of being able to travel the world and get to go to different places,” Mejia said.

As for Diedrechs, having a partnership that allows him to teach students to fly on their own is fulfilling.

“It’s a dream come true for me, and the partnership with Morningside and Oracle. They are two wonderful programs for the Siouxland area. I look forward to seeing what its going to develop into in the next four years,” Diedrechs said.

There are currently 11 students in flight training and Diedrechs said he hopes there will be 60 students in the program in four years.