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Love of Flying a Family Affair for Teen, Grandfather

Having gotten his first taste of flight as a radio-controlled airplane enthusiast who prided himself on smoothly operating the model planes, 16-year-old Kyle Bushman has since begun piloting full-sized planes and is on his way to achieving instrument certification. The grandson of a former pilot, Bushman began taking flying lessons in August 2007 with Jess Everson of About Time Aviation at Hobby Field in Creswell, Ore., and he is now racking up hours as he works toward eventually become licensed as a commercial pilot. "In flying, the key is having hours," said Bushman, who has logged about 85 flight hours so far and has already put in about 10 hours of the 40 needed for instrument certification. He has mostly flown Cessna 152s and 172s, but he has also used the larger and more capable 1951 Navion that his grandfather Ralph Halderman bought and restored in hopes of seeing his grandson solo in it. "It has a reputation of being an extremely stable aircraft, extremely stout," says Halderman, a 70-year-old business owner, whose restoration of the aircraft has included redoing the interior with a multifunction display and IFR-certified dual-GPs panel. Although he was looking forward to testing for his driver's license around the same time, Bushman was much more excited about his first solo, which was postponed because of inclement weather in early April. "It seemed like it couldn't happen fast enough; I just wanted to fly," said Bushman, who added that the experience was "really exciting, completely new--out of this world."

April 8, 2009

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