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Latrobe Teen's Pilot Dream Becoming Reality

On his 16th birthday Michael Nicely earned both a learner's permit to drive a car and a student pilot certificate. He has taken a year of flight instruction at the Westmoreland Aviation Academy at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Unity and dreams of becoming a professional pilot. "I'm pretty excited," he said after passing his solo test. "I can't wait to get up there again." His grandfather was an aviation metalsmith in the Marine Corps and his uncle owns an aircraft equipment and installation company, so aviation has always been in his blood. Nicely says he wants to join the navy and fly an S-22 Raptor. There is a lot of work that must be put in to earning a license, but Nicely says he is prepared for it. "It's what I want to do," he says. According to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, 11,562 people aged 16 to 19 earned student pilot certificates in 2008.

October 14, 2009

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