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.
“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.”