Explorer Program Kicks Off Aviation Career

» Posted by on Feb 16, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off on Explorer Program Kicks Off Aviation Career

Explorer Program Kicks Off Aviation Career

I don’t think I would have a Private Pilot Land (PPL) right now if
it hadn’t been for the letter I got in the mail inviting me to an “Explorer Class” about aviation and other related careers. The classes were very informative and I was quite surprised at both how willing everyone we met, was willing to share all they knew with us, and how many different places we got to go, like the radar room and control tower at GRB. By the end of all the classes I knew one thing for sure: I’m not going to do Air Traffic Control. I did, however, know that I wanted to learn how to fly after my first discovery flight.

I had flown a few times before in larger commercial planes, but
never in a plane as small as a Cessna. It was a whole new experience, and
being able to take off and have my hands on the controls was the last bit of
encouragement that I needed to set my goal; of getting my “Private Pilot
license”. It wasn’t easy, that’s for sure! Trying to balance school,
athletics, and then going back to school at night for ground school was a
challenge for me. But the thought of knowing that once I finished, I would
get my license kept me afloat and moving forward to my goal. The experience
was great, but I wondered what more I could do.

I decided that flying jets in the Air Force would be the ultimate
experience any pilot could ever have, so I applied to the United States Air
Force Academy in hopes of becoming an officer. Unfortunately, a
congressional nomination is needed to gain acceptance, and neither Senator
Johnson nor Senator Baldwin nominated me, as well as District Representative
Reid Ribble. How working to get a PPL isn’t enough in the eyes of the
senators or representative isn’t enough, will never make sense to me. But
the things I learned along the way to get my license are priceless and well
worth the work, and would not be possible without attending the “explorer
classes”.

The “explorer program” was a great introduction to what I would be
learning later on in ground lessons and in the air. From my first
instructor, Tim, who put up with my many jokes, extra passengers,
unpreparedness, and countless mistakes, to my last instructor, James, who
prepared me for my final test. I greatly appreciated all their time, effort,
and patience, they put in to make sure I succeeded. I truly believe the
“explorer program” is great for anyone questioning whether they should
pursue a career in aviation or not, there is no pressure to make a decision
about taking flight lessons, or to join one specific field, and you get a
flight that will more than likely change your entire mind and possibly your
future. Take it from me, who could only dream of being able to fly, and now I can.

Thanks,

-Noah VanLannen

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