AOPA will be closing at 2:30pm on Friday, May 24th and will also be closed on Monday, May 27th. We will reopen Tuesday morning, May 28th th at 8:30am ET.
Get extra lift from AOPA. Start your free membership trial today! Click here

Nik Oekerman

'Excited to get started' in One Week Ready to Solo project

Nik Oekerman

Learning quickly and under pressure is nothing new to Nik Oekerman.

The former Navy corpsman who served two combat tours in Iraq has faced more than his share of life-threatening situations. He welcomes the challenge of intensive flight training, and scrutiny from the aviation industry doesn’t faze him.

“I actually like pressure,” said Oekerman, 27. “I thrive on it. It helps me focus. The fact that a lot of people are going to be watching doesn’t bother me at all.”

Oekerman was born in Guam and went to high school in Oregon. He said he’s long been fascinated with flight and is looking forward to delving deeply into it.

“I’ve always been drawn to adventurous things—and I’m totally captivated by the idea of aerobatic flight. I’ve watched every one of Sean Tucker’s videos and can’t wait to see him fly in person.”

Oekerman said he’s not concerned about flying’s inherent risks.

One Week Ready to Solo“I’m not getting blown up or shot at,” he said, “so it shouldn’t be all that stressful.”

For Oekerman, the hardest part about the One Week Ready to Solo project has been waiting for it to get here.

“I’m not nervous or concerned at all,” he said. “I’m just excited to get started.”

Dave Hirschman
Dave Hirschman
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Dave Hirschman joined AOPA in 2008. He has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates. Dave flies vintage, historical, and Experimental airplanes and specializes in tailwheel and aerobatic instruction.
Topics: Training and Safety, Aircraft, Sun 'n Fun

Related Articles