July 26, 2013
Spencer Anderson’s parents knew he was interested in aviation, but they didn’t know how their son would feel about actually flying. So shortly after his 11th birthday, they treated him to a glider flight.
“I stayed up for 45 minutes,” he recalls. His dad tried to pay for the flight in advance so they could leave as soon as he was done. But the managers told his dad they didn’t have to pay if he didn’t come back.”
You guessed it – they had to pay.
That was the first time I’d ever been in an aircraft,” he says. “It was the reason I got hooked on aviation.”
Spencer, of Beloit, Wis., did occasional glider lessons until he became older, and then earned his private glider rating in September 2012. Now 17, he’s taking powered lessons and working to earn his private pilot certificate. He hopes to solo and pass his checkride yet this summer.
He also works as Sylvania Soaring Adventures, located at the Beloit Airport, washing gliders, helping launch them and more, to earn flight time.
So does he prefer gliding or powered flight?
“That’s a hard one,” he says. “Gliding is a challenge. You have to always be thinking, but that makes it a lot of fun. But with flying, you can actually go place to place without worrying about being too low. I love them both.”
Spencer says he joined AV8RS to stay informed about what is going on in the aviation world. He enjoys the newsletters and being able to use FlyQ, which allows for online flight planning.
His goal is to become a commercial pilot, but for now, Spencer, who will be a senior at Beloit Memorial High School in the fall, says flying is a great hobby. “Aviation has forever changed my life,” he says. “It pushed me to do good in school and it has shown me what I want to do with my life.”
His advice to other teens is this: “Don’t let something stop you,” he says. “Keep pushing to get to your dream.”
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