September 7, 2017 - Michael Long, Jakob Brouillette, Edward Kolb, and Dawson Morgan — all former Young Eagles — passed their FAA checkrides last week at the conclusion of the three-week EAA Sport Pilot Academy flight training course they attended on scholarship.
Michael was the first to earn his sport pilot certificate, passing his checkride on August 29.
“It’s a feeling of accomplishment, since I’ve been trying to get this for a while,” he said.
Jakob followed Michael, securing his certificate on the afternoon of August 30. He praised the design of Sport Pilot Academy, pointing out that the condensed educational format made it easier to learn and retain knowledge.
“This is absolutely the way to do it,” Jakob said. “To be one with EAA and to be surrounded by airplane people. To be able to get it down in a condensed format where you have airplanes ready to go, you have mechanics that will fix it if you run into a problem. The guys at the [EAA Kermit Weeks Flight Operations Center] have been great about making sure the airplanes have been flying the whole time. To have the instructors here with us, all of us living together for a couple weeks to be able to work on our pilot license together — there’s a component of camaraderie there that you wouldn’t find in normal flight training.”
Edward and Dawson finished up with successful checkrides August 31.
“It was a great experience to have,” Dawson said of his three weeks in Oshkosh. “Especially with the fact that everything is here for you every day. There’s no better way to learn than constantly hearing things over and over again. It didn’t get old because I have a passion for it. I think it was more efficient than if you were to go and do it on your own. I enjoyed my time here.”
Edward added, “It was great. I got everything I came here to get, so I think it was pretty good.”
All four Sport Pilot Academy graduates plan to fly actively, and Dawson specifically noted he wants to graduate from college with an aviation-related degree and pursue a career as a pilot. Michael and Jakob are also pondering careers in the sky, while Edward hopes to get a job as an aircraft maintenance technician and fly as a hobby.