Teen celebrates 16th birthday with 14 solo flights


Forget a Sweet Sixteen party. Wyatt Angel of Mount Airy, N.C., spent his 16th birthday doing something way more fun — flying 11 airplanes solo at the Mount Airy-Surry County Airport (KMWK), then making his way to the Piedmont Soaring Society in nearby Farmington, where he soloed three gliders.

He hopes his birthday celebration will win him a spot in the world record books.

Soloing 14 aircraft on the first day he was legally allowed to solo was something Wyatt had been planning for a long time.
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Star in your own solo video


Thousands of pilots are flying with compact video cameras like the GoPro or Garmin VIRB, using them to record first solos or memorable flights. But once the flight is over, many pilots don’t know what to do next — how do you edit and share what you recorded?

Sporty’s professional video production team has introduced its MySolo service. Simply upload video shot during your first solo and Sporty’s staff will transform that raw video into a professionally edited product, including on-screen text and audio. A sample MySolo video may be seen here.

“Your first solo is something you’ll never forget and deserves more than a quick snapshot to share with friends and family,” says Sporty’s Vice President John Zimmerman. “Now you don’t have to be a video expert to have a polished video.”

After recording your first solo on your recording device, all you have to do is upload your video at Sportys.com/MySolo along with requested information about the flight, such as solo pilot’s name, date of flight, flight instructor and make/model of airplane. A video up to five minutes will be produced and shared at Sporty’s MySolo YouTube channel. Cost is $59.95.

“We’re producing videos about first solos, but we’re able to produce similar videos about any particular flight,” says Zimmerman. “Contact us at video@sportys.com and we can discuss your project.”


Kitson wins First-to-Solo challenge


During the 2013 Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week — March 4-10 — that attracted more than 17,000 girls and women to air and space facilities across four continents, pilots flew balloons, ultralights, airplanes, seaplanes, and helicopters to introduce 5,316 girls and women to the magic of flight in a small aircraft with the hope to spark many vocations.

More than 77% of the girls and women attending said they would consider undertaking an activity in aviation for pleasure or for a career as a result of their experience.

To encourage them to take the next step, the Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide holds an annual First-to-Solo Challenge to reward the first eligible girl or woman that solos with a prize.

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Solo celebrations


How many people do you know who took flying lessons but never made it to first solo? Probably a great many. Solo is the first major step in what is a often a long journey to becoming a pilot.

The folks at Sporty’s Academy, in Batavia, Ohio, recognize this, and go all-out when a client hits that all-important milestone.

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Different cultures, different customs

In response to our request for photos of shirt tails being cut after first solo, Zenith Aircraft’s Sebastien Heintz responded with: “Different cultures commemorate the solo flight in different ways. Here’s a video clip from Thailand from one of our customers.”

Also, it’s not too late to send in photos from your first solo and getting your shirt tail cut. Send it to janice@generalaviationnews.com

A memorable week at Sporty’s flight school


BATAVIA, Ohio — Ideal fall weather in the Midwest made for a memorable week of first solos and certificates at Sporty’s Academy at Clermont County Airport (I69). During Thanksgiving week, Sporty’s celebrated four first solos, two private pilot certifications, two commercial pilot certifications and a Certified Flight Instructor certificate.

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16-year-old Georgia boy spends birthday soloing three different aircraft types


A solo flight series showcasing one young man’s efforts to learn to fly three different kinds of aircraft was successfully accomplished over the weekend, beginning with a night three ship formation flight launched at midnight Oct. 14.

The day began early for Drew Gryder of Hampton, Georgia, as he sat strapped in his single engine Cessna 150 aircraft positioned on the center line of a 3,700-foot runway at midnight. [Read more…]