Young Pilots

Learning to fly: a serendipitous journey

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I started out as a boy who was scared to death of flying and ended up falling in love with it while going to see a sick grandfather who, coincidentally, had once been a private pilot and aircraft mechanic in the Navy. There are many names for such instances of luck and happenstance: fate, destiny, whatever you want to call it. The word that happens to come to my mind is serendipity.

Flying my grandfather for his 90th birthday

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Every flight is exhilarating, but not every flight will be logged as a lifelong memory. This was one of those flights I will remember forever. Grandma nervously hugged us goodbye as Grandpa, Dad, and I squeezed into the compact Skyhawk.

Announcing the Young Pilots Writers’ Challenge

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Attention all pilots under 23 years of age. Your voice needs to be heard as part of the general aviation community. It’s not just multi-thousand hour pilots who have wisdom to share and stories to tell. You are the next generation of pilots. For you, the good old days are right now! Air Facts is sponsoring a Young Pilots Writers’ Challenge. Here are the details.

The lessons of the lake – a young pilot’s experience

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It had been just four months since I climbed out of the plane with the beaming smile on my face that proved I was certified private pilot. At age 17, it truly seemed unreal to me. Nevertheless, today was the day, and a beautiful day at that, for the longest cross country flight of my young career.

Building a career by believing in your dream

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In the first article from our “Young Guns” series, meet Andrea Tomaselli, a young pilot from Venezuela who followed his dreams and made captain on the MD-11 at just 27. He shares his story and what he learned about succeeding in a turbulent aviation industry.

One dream, one goal

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There is no history of pilots in my family. I always have to explain myself in a very detailed way to my family about what I want to do in the future. There are all of these pilots who have dads or moms who are pilots as well, but I am alone.

What did you sign up for?

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It is very easy as a pilot to become enthralled with becoming a more advanced aviator and completely lose touch with everything that called you to aviation in the first place. It doesn’t take very long either. For me it happened in about 120 hours. I had fallen out of love.

My first emergency landing

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It wasn’t long after I got my pilot’s license that I encountered my first emergency landing. It was a day I will never forget. My instructor, who is also a great friend of mine, was going to teach me on how to fly a CJ-6 Nanchang, a high performance complex aircraft.

Are you a plain cheesecake pilot?

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Get out there and try something new, something exhilarating, or something that perhaps is a fear! Don’t get stuck eating plain cheesecake all your aviation career; come join me as I try some double chocolate cheesecake and maybe, just maybe, we will change the general aviation community for the better in the process.

The reason I never fly alone

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In the first entry from our Summer Writing Challenge, 24-year old Alec Synakowski shares the ups and downs of earning a pilot’s license fresh out of college. After a medical setback, Alec finally managed to fly home to the grass strip in New York that started his dream.

Summer Writing Challenge

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Attention all pilots from 16 to 24 years old. Your voice needs to be heard as part of the general aviation community. All summer long, Air Facts will publish stories from young pilots in addition to our usual content of stories about safety, history, weather, technique and a dozen other topics.

License to Learn: ground to solo

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In order to have a robust general aviation community, we need to learn from all participants, not just those multi-thousand hour pilots. Here 18-year old Kyle Libby, a new pilot, shares his insight into the training process and his flight training experience. His perspective offers a lot to think about for more experienced pilots.