|Appreciating a Memorable Moment in Time!|
|Lakeland, FL October 28, 2021 – Did you know pilots of varying levels use numbers to communicate? When numbers beyond ten are used, they are broken up into their individual single digits. The 8th Annual Solo To Success will use three-zero for 30. This number represents the 30 students across Polk County who completed their first solo flight!|
FAA requirements for a student’s first solo flight include: being at least 16 years old; passing a pre-solo aeronautical knowledge test; flight training in the aircraft using a specified list of maneuvers and procedures, and achieving the necessary instructor endorsements. Each student faced demanding requirements to complete repeated laps in the air traffic pattern called touch and go’s.
Once their first solo flight is completed, traditions say a shirttail is cut to signify the confidence of being an independent pilot. Each of the 30 students honored at the SOLO TO SUCCESS ceremony triumphed in their journey to operating an aircraft by themselves.
The Aerospace Center for Excellence honors the unforgettable moment in the James C. Ray Scholarship Foundation SOLO TO SUCCESS RING located at the entrance of the Central Florida Aerospace Academy. Current Junior CFAA student, and Lakeland Aero Club Senior Vice President, Colby Lee will be a guest speaker. Attendees include Polk County School Board Superintendent Frederick Heid, Lakeland Mayor Bill Mutz, among others.
Students will celebrate with family, their peers, and a supportive and thriving community. During this ceremony, each newly initiated STUDENT PILOT will place their engraved brick with their name, year of solo, and type of aircraft on the brick walkway. Alex Banttari, ACE’s 130th private pilot, comments that “soloing [an aircraft] means unlocking a world of opportunities. “On average, 2 scholarships are awarded each month and 40 students are pursuing their private pilot certificate through this program. Many of these students have gone on to further their education at the university level as well as working professionally within the aviation industry.
Executive Director of ACE, Daryl Price, remarks, “A student’s first solo can be the most terrifying and simultaneously the most exciting event in a young person’s life. It’s a definitive endorsement of achievement and an open door of adventure and potential most people will never experience. Congratulations to this new wave of Student Pilots!” We are proud of these young men and women’s accomplishments.
President and CEO of ACE John “Lites” Leenhouts states, “If there was ever a consequential turning point in anyone’s life, it would be flying an airplane solo. As it creates the confidence to meet any challenge in life. “
|Sponsor a student pilot who has soloed an aircraft through our “Buy A Brick” campaign! Please consider a brick donation to help us recognize these fine young men and women. Donors will be listed in our Solo to Success program.CONSIDER A BRICK DONATION TO RECOGNIZE THE FUTURE PILOTS|
|2021 SOLO TO SUCCESS RECIPIENTS|
|Mario AguirreAdam AntayaAlexander Banttari *Andrew CoulterTim DalenBrendan DormanAva FarthingNoland FinleyMichael FranklinAdrian GardeazabalJonathan GauthierMichael GivenHayden GomezTrent GreggGarrett Griner||Michael HamiltonPhillip HolleyDiamond HooperNeil IpsenDaniel JohnsonMaximus MarcellinoTrent McMillanVraj MehtaUriah RomeroJoseph RooneyNathanyel SantiagoJacob StoltzBrian WilliamsLogan WoodNelson Zenteno|
|Guest Speaker: Colby LeePrivate Pilot & Senior Vice President Lakeland Aero Club|