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Student Strives To Earn Pilot’s License

Travis Olwin- PlaneTaking a seat in the cockpit, sophomore Travis Olwin gets his mind and body ready for anything that could go wrong. As the plane takes off, he gets a thrill that most people cannot say they have experienced.

Olwin is currently going through the process of getting his pilot’s license with Youth Aeronautics Education Foundation. He has already gone through ground school, where he learned the general rules and terms for flying. The next step would be flight training.

Olwin takes advantage of this opportunity and uses it as what makes him different from the others his age.

“You don’t see many kids this generation getting their pilot’s license,” Olwin said. “It separates [me] from the crowd and gives me a level of uniqueness.”

Olwin draws from many inspirations. One of them being that his father worked on aircraft carriers such as the USS John C Stennis and the USS enterprise. Because of that, Olwin has more experience around planes.

“My Father laid down the foundation and [now] I can build upon that,” Olwin said.

Olwin also draws inspiration from movies like Red Tails and Memphis Bell. These movies showed him that obtaining his pilot’s license is more in reach than he thought.

“[It showed me] that anyone can do it,” Olwin said. “It inspires younger generations.”

Obtaining his Pilot’s license is not where Olwin’s career ends. He plans on going to Liberty University for the new School of Aeronautics. At Liberty students can train and be certified to fly privately and commercially. Here they have Aeronautics minor and Bachelor Science, flight attendant training, and an aviation maintenance technician program.

“It’s an outlet for future opportunities,” said Olwin. “And [it is a way] to expand my knowledge.”

At first Olwin wanted to fly in the military. Now he is leaning more towards commercial flying.

“Communication plays a big role in the society,” said Olwin. “[With being] a pilot of a commercial aircraft, passengers are putting their trust in you to get them safely to their destination.”

What really makes Olwin’s goals different it the fact that while many other students will just be getting their driving license Olwin will be working towards driving in the air.

“It still gives you a sense of responsibility and freedom, but takes it into a new scale and an elevated responsibility factor,” Olwin said.

The difference between driving and flying is something else that drew Olwin into this sport. A pilot, to an extent, has no limits in the air.

“Flying is not restricted to a single location,” said Olwin. “You can fly wherever you want to.”

Olwin will also be experiencing a heightened risk factor. While in the air, anything could go wrong and that is something he keeps in mind at all times. Having faith is critical at this level of danger.

“Being on this danger level you have to have faith,” Olwin said. “And know [that] you know what to do”

Besides the higher risk and responsibility that comes with a pilot’s license and flying, Olwin has to worry about his mentality before going in the air.

“It’s also mental; you have to keep your head on a swivel, and you have to keep your body on a sense of alertness,” Olwin said.

Aeronautics is a sport that is very time consuming and demanding. Olwin has learned that commitment is key. With requirements of about 40 hours and multiple years of dedication and learning, his schedule for getting a pilot’s license will be extremely rigorous.

“This is a subject that needs time and devotion,” said Olwin. “Flying is almost like school, you have to stick through it.”

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