A Carlisle High School senior took his love of aviation to new heights.
On Dec. 9, Jeff Estes, 17, took his first solo flight at Carlisle Airport after taking flying lessons since the fall of 2016 with Barbara George, an instructor with Cumberland Valley Aviation.
Estes is the son of Larry and Julie Estes.
Q. What sparked your interest in flying?
A. I have always had an interest in cars, trucks, planes and trains. However, as a kid I watched a lot of documentaries about World War II and aviation was a large focus. From there, I started learning more and more through books and sites like Wikipedia, just reading about various aircraft and airports and the like in my spare time.
Q. How did you earn the money for the flying lessons?
A. I have been mowing lawns for neighbors since I was about 9 or 10 years old, slowly saving up money. Since I was 16, I have also had a handful of jobs that I have always allotted a certain amount of my income towards savings. From there, it has been a matter of budgeting.
Q. What was the most difficult part of learning to fly?
A. The technicalities and lengthy rule book of regulations and procedures are very daunting at first, however once it is applied regularly it becomes routine and standard memorization applies. After that, learning the motor skills of actually flying comes more naturally.
Q. Tell us what it was like to take your first solo flight, and where did you go?
A. Flying alone for the first time was an odd combination of routine and nerves. I simply flew around the traffic pattern of the airport, which is within a few miles of the field. There was an odd realization that I was up there by myself for the first time, but that didn’t last long as I had to keep my mind on flying the airplane.
Q. What are your future plans, both in general and in relation to flying?
A. I am looking to study logistics and sustainability next year, fields that I see becoming ever more important in the coming years. I certainly plan on continuing to fly, as I hope to earn my commercial pilot’s license and take advantage of any opportunities down that alley on top of a career in business.