Luke Kirchgesner – ATR-72 Captain

I have always had a desire for flying; in my grade 12 year of high school, I decided to make a visit to Mitchinson Flight Centre, where I was immediately welcomed by Janet Keim who gave me a tonne of information. My flight journey with Mitchinson began March 18, 2016 – my first instructor was Geoff Barrie flying C-GOLK. I enrolled in the Private Pilot course and did my first solo within two months. In December of that year, Saskatchewan Polytechnic paused the Commercial Pilot program, but thanks to the dedication and creativity of the MFC team, the CPL program was held in early 2017 at Mitchinson’s hangar. I continued to build hours and refine my skills with the help of the MFC instructor team, especially Geoff, Randy Kerney, Matt Kirzinger, Colin Campbell, and Reed Willison. It was always a pleasure to fly with Pilot Examiner Janet.

I attained my float rating in B.C. and worked briefly at Rusty Myers in Ontario. I was fortunate to get hired by NorthStar Air in their ground-to-flight line program in Thunder Bay, ONT. During COVID, I maintained my position at NorthStar, and became a PC-12 First Officer in January, 2022.  In March of 2022, I was promoted to ATR-72 First Officer based out of Thompson, MB. I have frequently journeyed past the Arctic Circle regularly delivering 17,000 lbs. of goods (groceries, perishables, quads, lumber, building supplies, water, etc) to communities in Nunavut, northern Manitoba, and northern Ontario.

I cannot thank MFC enough for their patience and professionalism they demonstrated when I was first starting out. They made this a positive experience and set my aviation course!

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