16-Year-Old Ray Scholar Solos in Ohio

Story and photos by Sherry Niederkorn

EAA Chapter 5 selected 16-year-old Jeremy Byler, EAA 1384738, from Bristol High School in Bristolville, to be their 2020 Ray Aviation Scholarship recipient. Jeremy showed interest in aviation several years ago, while hanging around the Geauga County Airport in Middlefield, Ohio and taking a Young Eagles flight.

He has also flown with several chapter members in their airplanes and helped with several of the chapter events including community pancake breakfasts, pedal plane rides for the little ones, summer youth aviation camps for middle school students, and a Flying Start event for adults who want to learn to fly.

In addition to flying in and out of Germack Airport in Geneva, Jeremy also flies to Northeast Ohio Regional Airport in Ashtabula for his flight lessons.

“Jeremy was selected by the chapter for the Ray Aviation Scholarship based on his motivation in learning to be a pilot and his involvement with Chapter 5,” says Ray Aviation Scholarship Chairman Tim Niederkorn.

On the Fourth of July, Jeremy and his father met with Tim and Al Kettunen, flight instructor for Kettunen Aeronautical INC at the Germack Airport (7D9) in Geneva, Ohio, to begin the process. A plan of regularly scheduled flight lessons was established, and Jeremy began his lessons early the following Wednesday morning. Now that school has started, Jeremy takes his lessons after school, three times a week, weather permitting. As part of practicing basic skills, Jeremy is working on turns, climbs and descents, stalls, take-offs and landings, ground reference maneuvers, and communications in a Cessna 172.

Jeremy leaves his instructor behind and is alone in the cockpit as he taxis away for his first Solo flight on Friday, September 25th.

Mother Nature provided some challenges for Jeremy, as the winds had been pretty strong. On Friday, September 25, Jeremy and his instructor did a couple “touch-and-goes” at the Northeast Ohio Regional Airport in Ashtabula and then the airplane came to a full stop on the taxiway for his instructor to exit the plane. After a few last-minute reminders, Jeremy was alone in the cockpit and ready for his first solo flight! The 16-year-old pilot performed a textbook takeoff, flew once around in the pattern, and “greased” his first landing.

As Jeremy taxied back to the runway past his instructor, Al gave the signal and Jeremy repeated the process two more times. To commemorate this momentous occasion, Derek Maple, an employee of the airport, brought out a souvenir T-Shirt to present to Jeremy.

Jeremy smiles immensely having completed his First Solo Flight at KHZY and has returned to his home base of 7D9.

After his third landing, Jeremy stopped to pick up his instructor for the short flight back to his home base airport, Germack. It was there that Tim and his wife Sherry met them for a few ceremonial traditions.

When asked about his flight, Jeremy replied, “It was just cool! I wasn’t really nervous. The first landing, I didn’t have any wind, then the second one I had a bit more, and the third one even more, but I had squeaks!”

Ray Aviation Scholarship Chair, Tim Niederkorn, greets Jeremy upon completion of his first solo flight.

Before his solo, Jeremy’s logbook contained a little more than 21 hours of dual instruction. Upon returning to Germack, it was updated to reflect his first solo time entry. A specially designed T-Shirt from EAA Headquarters commemorated the event recording the date, time, and place. As tradition calls for, his shirttail was cut out to be put on display.

In addition to his training in the air, Jeremy has also been attending an online ground school. The next official step in the process of becoming a pilot is to prepare for and pass the FAA private pilot written exam.

As tradition has it, Ray Aviation Scholar Jeremy Byler got his shirt tail cut off commemorating his first solo flight on September 25th in a Cessna 172.

The Ray Aviation Scholarship Fund is a scholarship program that is supported by the Ray Foundation, managed by EAA, and administered through the EAA Chapter network. The EAA Chapter 5 will play a critical role to ensure the Ray Aviation Scholarship recipient is staying on track to earn his pilot certificate.

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Artikel ini diambil dari http://inspire.eaa.org/2020/10/15/16-year-old-ray-scholar-solos-in-ohio/

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