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home : education : schools July 24, 2017

5/30/2017 6:52:00 PM
Another flight science student solos in Sisters
Andrew Mayes, with flight instructor Sam Monte, plans to enter Air force flight training. photo provided
+ click to enlarge
Andrew Mayes, with flight instructor Sam Monte, plans to enter Air force flight training. photo provided

The Flight Science program has added another student to its list of solo pilots. Andrew Mayes, a senior at Sisters High School, accomplished the milestone of his first solo last weekend in Outlaw Aviation's Cessna 172 trainer plane.

"My goal is to earn my private pilot certificate before I leave for college in fall," said Mayes.

To achieve this, Mayes will need to pass a written exam, an oral exam, and an in-flight check-ride with an FAA Designated Examiner.

"I will be busy flying and preparing this summer," he said.

Mayes intends to make a career in aviation. He has been accepted into the U.S. Air Force ROTC program at Utah State in fall, where he plans to study history. Once he earns his degree, he hopes to be accepted into Air Force flight training. Although flight training is extremely competitive, already holding a private pilot certificate will give Mayes a distinct advantage. After retiring from the Air Force, Mayes then hopes to fly commercially for a major airline.

The Flight Science course at SHS is a challenging and popular elective sequence running the entire year, integrating the study of aerodynamics, physics, chemistry, navigation, and meteorology. The class helps prepare students to pass the rigorous FAA Private Pilot written exam. Mayes lists the Flight Science course as one of his favorite classes at SHS, and plans to take the FAA written exam early this summer.

In addition to the academic study of the ground school, students pursuing their private pilot license must train in an actual aircraft with a certificated flight instructor (CFI). Sam Monte, the flight instructor for Outlaw Aviation at the Sisters Airport, is a graduate of the COCC Aviation Department.

"Andrew is a natural aviator. He has only logged 17 hours of flight instruction in an airplane, and he was ready to solo," Monte said.

While the academic ground school curriculum is free to students at SHS, flight instruction costs are not covered by the school. Mayes has been awarded scholarships to pay for flight instruction. Outlaw Aviation, owned by Benny and Julie Benson of the Sisters Airport, also provides a matching scholarship fund. For all funds a student brings to their flight training, whether it's from other scholarships such as The Roundhouse Foundation or AOPA, or from family contributions, the Bensons match those funds through credit with Outlaw Aviation.

"Becoming a pilot takes a lot of dedication. We are so proud of Andrew and what he has accomplished, and the incredible young man he has become. Andrew is working very hard learning to fly. We are so grateful that he has the support of these scholarships and the Bensons; otherwise Andrew would not have the opportunity to fly while in high school," said Molly Mayes, Andrew's mother.

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