Upper School

Sophomore completes first solo flight as aspiring pilot

Sophomore Lucho Caballero, who over the last few years has developed a keen interest in flying, recently completed his first solo flight at just 16 years of age. He has roughly a year until he is eligible to receive a pilot license.

“My dad’s history with the military and flight testing was what sparked my interest in flying,” said Caballero. “He studied aerospace engineering in university and later joined the Royal Canadian Air Force to work on experimental F-18s as an aerospace engineer officer.” Seeing his father in photos with these planes sparked his initial interest in flying, and at his father’s encouragement, he began pursuing it earnest.

When Caballero was 12, he took a discovery flight to gauge his interest in learning how to fly an aircraft. The COVID-19 pandemic prevented him from properly learning until two years later, and has since spent the last year and a half with an instructor, logging 100 hours of flight time in a Cessna 172. He hopes to fly more aircraft after receiving his license.

“Being responsible for the full control of a plane is such a powerful feeling,” he said. Contrasting the experience to driving a car, he said that in addition to steering, accelerating and braking, “you have to constantly read your instruments, go through checklists, talk to air traffic control, be aware of the weather and navigate through the airspace.”

The effort, however, is highly rewarding. “When it’s all done right, you feel satisfied. Your actions are controlling the aircraft, not the other way around,” he said. “And the views from up there don’t hurt, either.”

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