December 1, 2012
Tyler Hoppe says he got hooked on aviation on his first commercial flight. But that feeling of flight is what has kept his interest soaring.
“Whenever I leave the ground, I get this rush and amazing feeling,” said the 17-year-old from Cocoa, Fla. “I just love the view looking down.”
Tyler said he joined AOPA AV8RS because he wanted to share his passion of flight with other like-minded teens. “In this town, I’m seriously like the only kid who loves aviation,” he says. AV8RS has shown him he’s not the only “aviation nut” in high school.
As an “aviation nut,” Tyler says he plans to pursue aviation as both a career and hobby. He is looking at possible careers as an air traffic controller or A&P mechanic. And while he isn’t a licensed pilot yet, he enjoys taking aircraft photos and spotting at his local airport, as well as being a volunteer tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum in Titusville.
In fact, Tyler says he has been most influenced by a biplane pilot from that Warbirds museum. “He is one of those guys who knows a lot and who is willing to share the information if you have a question,” he explains.
But sometimes practice is the only thing that will make things perfect. Tyler learned that when he was learning to fly with just the rudders, trim and throttle. “I just kept giving it a shot until I finally got it down,” he says.
And so it should be no surprise what advice he gives to other teens interested in aviation as a career or hobby: “Just never give up,” Tyler says. “Keep chasing your dream and one day you’ll get there.”
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