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Flying High: The Sky’s the Limit for Joshua Mech

ChapterGram Newsletter - May 2014

By Luiz Cordeiro, Membership Chair - EAA Chapter 766

Joshua Mech has had a love for airplanes since early childhood. He was an avid RC pilot growing up but always had a dream to learn to fly a real airplane someday. Since I’m a member of EAA Chapter 766 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, I’ve given lots of airplane rides to Boy Scouts for their Aviation Merit Badges as well as through the Young Eagles program.

When I became aware of Josh’s desire to fly, I asked him if he would like to go up in the airplane with me. His parents gave the okay, and up we went, flying over Sheboygan County on a beautiful sunny morning. I let Josh take the controls of the airplane, giving him a few minutes of instructions on how to turn and go up and down, and he was just a natural. As we pilots say, he was hooked.

We went up together a couple more times, including his official Young Eagle flight, and he also went flying with fellow chapter member Dave Rudd. From that point forward, Josh’s thoughts were in the clouds; he had a dream to fulfill and he went after it. It’s great to have a dream; but you have to go after it to make it happen, and Josh did just that.

After he graduated from high school, Josh went to Southern Illinois University (SIU) and earned his degree in aviation. He cruised through the four-year program in two years and graduated with honors. Josh was also a 2009 EAA scholarship recipient.

While a student at SIU-Carbondale, he worked as a certificated flight instructor and quickly passed his multiengine commercial checkride and other advanced certifications. Before long, Josh was a captain flying at Seaport Airlines based in Memphis, Tennessee. In November of last year, he went to work for Express Jet Airline out of Cleveland, Ohio - soon to be based in Houston, Texas.

Express Jet runs Delta Connections, United Express, and others regionals. Josh currently flies the Embraer ERJ 145 regional jet, and the sky is definitely the limit for this young aviator. All of us at Chapter 766 are proud to have played a role in helping Josh achieve his dream!

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