June 1, 2013
With a mother who traveled for her job, Jacob Schultz spent a lot of time flying on commercial airliners. So he isn’t sure what clicked on one flight about two years ago.
“I just knew this was something I wanted to do,” says Jacob, now 13.
More importantly, it is something he is doing. After taking a discovery flight last June, he has started taking flying lessons in a Piper Warrior at a local flight school near his Snyder, N.Y. home.
“My discovery flight was the first time I was in a small airplane, and I remember everything like it was yesterday,” he says. “It was truly an excellent flight, and the best part was the take off and how breathtaking it was. After that, I was truly hooked.”
However, his parents and flight instructor thought it best if he didn’t start lessons until he was 13. So he hitched airplane rides with friends and through other organizations. “My parents thought I was on the young side, and were hesitant for me to do something like that,” he says. “But I talked to them about it a lot. And now they think it’s cool and support me.”
Jacob says the plan is to take one flight lesson a month to “spread it out” and accumulate hours. He hopes to solo on his 16th birthday and get his private pilot certificate at 17. “It may seem like it’s a long time, but it will go by quickly,” he says. “My grandparents have already said they’ll be standing in the airport waiting for me to land. I can’t wait for that day; it will be one of the best days of my life.”
Jacob hopes to attend the Air Force Academy and then fly C-130s or KC-10s in the military. “I’ve been told by so many people how great it is. I think it would a great way to serve our country…”
Jacob says he also enjoys playing baseball and basketball, hanging with friends and working at his family’s store. “But on a nice summer day, I like to bike to the airport and see all the planes.”
He is thankful for the AOPA AV8RS program. “There are not a lot of resources for kids and teens about aviation,” he says. “I love reading the newsletter, watching the videos, and using the website as a resource.”
Pilot Youth and Introductory
Fly It Forward events held in 96 locations on four continents gave 5,703 girls and women their first general aviation experience.
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