One Manitoba Company Helps Aspiring Pilots Achieve Their Dreams
By Danielle Vienneau

Karesa Tegart has been around airplanes since birth. She has watched them soar high above her and been a passenger countless times during her 30 plus years on the planet. Her father is a pilot. Inspired by his craft and adventures, Tegart has dreamed of becoming a pilot for as long as she can remember, and now that dream is becoming reality.

Having tried several avenues to pursue her dream of flying, she came across LS Airways Flight Academy. With the support of the Southeast Training and Development Program (Community Futures Manitoba) and after four years of training, Tegart is looking forward to graduating in the fall. “This is a really important milestone for me, as an Indigenous woman working in aviation which has been traditionally a male-dominated industry,” she says. “I’ve worked hard and I want to show my daughter that you can achieve your goals if you just go for it.”

The training she received at LS Airways Flight Academy will enable her to graduate with a private pilot license and a commercial pilot license, opening the doors to various aviation opportunities within Canada and internationally. While her father is set to retire from flying for a major Canadian airline soon, Tegart is happy to continue her family legacy in the air.

Chief Flight Instructor Noura Gharib is thrilled to witness the development of women who complete the program at LS Airways and who are able to lead fulfilling careers in aviation. Originating from Egypt and a pilot herself, Gharib experienced many challenges and injustices along her journey and has made it her mission to ensure a positive learning experience for those who wish to pursue a career in this industry. She also recognizes the need for more Indigenous pilots, especially those familiar with life in Northern remote communities. “It’s an important role,” says Gharib, “because the food security of many communities depends on pilots and planes.” She also references the need for medical transport and other needs that isolated communities require by air. “It’s a vital role that we take seriously,” she says.

Located in Gimli, Manitoba, LS Airways operates out of a privately owned hangar, with a small professional team, two aircraft and various simulators. “Pilot proficiency is paramount, ” says Gharib. “We make sure our pilots are the best. Failure is not an option.” LS Airways provides a structured educational curriculum for optimal preparation and education, requiring multiple skill evaluations at various points in training. Their experienced teachers are the nucleus and the heart of their pilot training process. LS Airways accepts applications from all over the world and currently has over 40 students (Canadian and international) training to be pilots.

In addition to pilot training LS Airways also offers an experience for tourists visiting the popular summer destination of Gimli, by way of a 40-minute scenic flight tour along the shoreline.

Gharib looks forward to supporting Tegart and other graduates in their careers and hopes that some will return as instructors. She also hopes that larger companies, such as Perimeter Aviation, and First Nations in Canada, will see the value in supporting Indigenous students looking to pursue aviation as a career, knowing that it will only strengthen this country’s economic growth.

For admissions and more information about LS Airways Flight Academy, please visit

Photos courtesy of LS Airways Flight Academy.

Danielle Vienneau, Editor-in-Chief of SAY Magazine, believes in sharing positive stories to inspire greatness in others. To submit your story, email