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Former Young Eagles Solo for First Time at Sport Pilot Academy

August 24, 2017 - Four former Young Eagles, all of whom received scholarships to attend an August session of EAA’s Sport Pilot Academy, all recently completed their first solo flights.

Michael Long, Jakob Brouillette, Dawson Morgan, and Edward Kolb each soloed last weekend, one week after beginning the intensive, three-week course.

After spending the first week learning from instructors both in the classroom and in the cockpit, all four students felt pretty comfortable flying solo.

“I wouldn’t say I was nervous, but I was excited for it. As soon as I took off, I was like ‘Yeah, let’s do this,’” Dawson, EAA 1205669, said. “I knew what I was going to do. I was just going to do pattern flight and takeoffs and landings. I knew what I was doing and I was pretty comfortable with that. I came in for my landing and it was my best landing – I almost didn’t even feel myself touch. It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever done. I’d never landed that well with an instructor in the plane. … It was safe and it went smooth.”

Meanwhile, Jakob, EAA 833876, who soloed a day prior to Michael, Dawson, and Edward, said he had to deal with a bit of traffic, but otherwise his flight went without a hitch.

“My solo was very calm, peaceful and uneventful,” he said. “I felt very prepared for it and not a whole lot happened. … There were a couple of things that happened that were weird, but no one had made any mistakes – I just encountered traffic at unusual times and stuff. I was able to work with the tower really well to avoid it. I felt really well prepared for it. I wasn’t nervous, I was excited. But I was calm and in my happy place.”

Michael, Jakob, Dawson, and Edward all plan to be involved in aviation as active pilots after they complete their Sport Pilot Academy course next week. Each of them mentioned the possibility of flying Young Eagles in the future and Dawson specifically noted his intention to fly professionally. Michael and Jakob are also considering careers as professional pilots, while Edward hopes to find a job as an aircraft maintenance technician and fly as a hobby.

Wherever each ends up in the coming years, they all viewed the experience they’ve gained from Sport Pilot Academy as being invaluable.

“This camp is a great way to get our foot in the door as far as flying,” Dawson said. “Getting the training and how to fly. It’s great for all of us to get to do that in this type of environment and in an accelerated course where we’re spending every day flying and spending every day learning about aviation. I think that’s really helped propel all of us in learning at a faster and more efficient rate.”

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