Jared Kaplan ‘16 and Alexander Aixala ‘16, engineering enthusiasts, friends and colleagues since seventh grade, have both been actively pursuing their student pilot’s licenses.
Three years ago, Jared began attending flight school at North Perry Airport in Broward County; he then moved over to Opa-Locka Executive Airport, where he was able to apply what he had learned. “You need to be 16-years-old to be able to fly a plane, and you need to do a lot of learning in ground school, such as rules and regulations, the physics of how the plane works and navigating, learning how to navigate in certain areas,” Jared says. “Miami, for example, is very busy for aircraft.” Jared was able to fly his first plane, a Cessna 172, in late August at a restricted 1,100-foot altitude.
Alexander is currently taking two engineering courses at Gulliver and is passionate about fishing and flying. He began taking flying courses this past April at Endeavor Flight Training, after several years of being exposed to and inspired by family friends who have their pilot’s licenses. He is eager to obtain a degree in mechanical engineering in order to focus on the aerospace sector, but hopes to remain in Florida. “I need to remain around the water! I just love fishing and I much prefer the warm environment,” Alexander explains.
Requirements to obtain a pilot’s license typically vary based on the type of aircraft selected. Both students are eager to begin working on their IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) training, which will allow them to earn a permit to operate an aircraft in instrumental meteorological conditions and create complex and detailed flight plans based on specific instrument departures. This requires extensive training in meteorology, instruments and heavier aircraft, as well as hours of schooling.
Let’s congratulate these future pilots on all their efforts and dedication towards pursuing their dreams!