Completing your first solo flight is a special memory. Especially if you solo on the same day as your mother, like Steve Poteet of Fort Worth, Texas, did.
“It really is an awesome thing to share with her,” said Steve, 43. He watched his 64-year-old mother Sylvia solo on Nov. 29 at Seymour Municipal in Seymour, Texas, where she resides. “Then we hugged, high fived, and I got in and did mine,” he added.
“We came to the realization about a month ago that we were at about the same place, skill-level wise, and it might be possible to solo at the same place on the same day,” said Steve.
Their flight instructor, John Coon, agreed they were both ready—Sylvia with 30 flight hours and Steve with 14.
“At first I was really excited and keyed-up,” said Sylvia, a nurse anesthetist. “But once I got ready I became quiet and focused. I wasn’t nervous. Once I got through I felt a rush of excitement.”
Airplanes have fascinated Sylvia since she was nine years old. For years, she dreamed of learning to fly but never had the opportunity. That is until her son partnered with a friend and purchased a Cessna 172. He brought Sylvia out to the airport to see his new toy, and she was hooked. She is now part owner of the airplane.
“She sat down in the cockpit and was interested in everything about the airplane,” said Steve, who works in church ministry. “I was surprised when I found out she had always wanted to fly.”
Steve encouraged his mother to take lessons and coordinate their flying, even sharing an instructor. Often, Steve flies to Seymour with their instructor and lets Sylvia take a lesson before taking his own lesson and flying back to Fort Worth. They see each other about every two to three weeks.
“It was special to see her pursue a lifelong passion,” said Steve. “Taking her first solo flight was a major step toward that goal.”