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Former Young Eagle Earns Sport Pilot Certificate

James Power

Former Young Eagle James Power earned his sport pilot certificate August 20 at the age of 18. He has longed to fly since he was 10 when his father surprised him by taking him to a Young Eagles Rally, where members of the EAA were offering free airplane rides to youth. James had his first airplane ride that day and became 100 percent hooked on flying. Encouraging his love of flight, James’ parents gave him a flying lesson every year for his birthday. Read more

James, however, was on his own to fund enough lessons to take him through a full flight rating. He got a summer job through his high school during his junior year and earned enough to get started on his flight training. He explained, “I didn’t expect to get paid, but when I learned that they would pay me, the thing I wanted to do most with the money was earn a pilot certificate. The private pilot certificate was much too expensive for what I was going to make. Fortunately, the FAA created the sport pilot certificate. When I looked into the details, it seemed like they made it just for me.”

He enrolled at Chesapeake Sport Pilot flight school located at the Bay Bridge Airport in Stevensville, Maryland. James said he felt the instructors at Chesapeake were highly experienced and they were there because of their love of flying and instruction. His flight instructor was Fred Lagno who had already worked for the airlines and has over 25,000 hours in airplanes. 
Looking back on his training, James most fondly remembers the excitement of his first solo flight. “My favorite moment was almost certainly when I turned to look at the passenger’s seat, reminding myself that there wasn’t anyone else in the plane,” he said. “I gave a little chuckle at the thought that I was going to have to land this plane - nobody was there to help!” For now James is beginning his freshman year at the University of Michigan where he’ll be studying aerospace engineering.

Chesapeake Sport Pilot offers sport pilot, private pilot, and sport pilot flight instructor training and has seven airplanes, 16 instructors, and about 65 students actively enrolled in instruction at any given time. For more info, visit www.ChesapeakeSportPilot.com.


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