Warren County Career Center provides opportunities for aspiring pilot

Warren County Career Center senior Honesty Stanifer attends the Aerospace Academy and plans to become a pilot. Photo by Peg Gold

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Warren County Career Center senior Honesty Stanifer attends the Aerospace Academy and plans to become a pilot. Photo by Peg Gold

Warren County Career Center Aerospace Academy Senior Honesty Stanifer of Franklin, recently earned the Experimental Aircraft Association Ray Aviation Scholarship for $9,000. This scholarship will enable her to continue with her career goal of becoming an airline pilot.

She enrolled as a junior in the Aerospace Academy and discovered the many career paths within the aviation field.

“I didn’t know about an airframe and powerplant certification until I took the program,” she said. “(Instructor) Dr. Miller explained that a certification and two-year degree in A&P would help me work my way through flight training. He also gave me a really nice recommendation letter for the scholarship this year. He has been a mentor to me.”

Stanifer’s first small aircraft flight was a free flight with the Experimental Aircraft Association in December of 2018.

“I was offered a free airplane ride, so I thought, ‘why not?’” she said. “I was in an RV7, which is a two-seater, low wing aircraft, that Eric Pushman of the EAA built himself. I wasn’t afraid to try it because the FAA inspects and regulates the aircraft, and I really trusted the pilot.”

As a result of the EAA flight, she became involved in the organization, attending regular monthly meetings to hear guest speakers, network with others in the industry, and ultimately, earn the scholarship. The group went to the Vectren Dayton Air Show, and the EAA gives free flights to children ages 13-18. Stanifer volunteers at Young Eagle rallies and talks to the children about what it is like to take a flight in a small plane before they go up for their free flight.

“I plan to go to Sinclair Community College after I graduate to earn an A&P degree,” she said. “I can work as an airline mechanic and work my way through flight school. My scholarship for flight lessons will be at the Greene County Airport and I have one year to complete the lessons and earn my private pilot license. Then, there are multiple other steps such as instrument rating, instructor rating and multi-engine rating in order to earn my commercial license.”

The private pilot written exam is part of the curriculum of the Aerospace Academy Program. Stanifer is also earning some college credit in the program, all of which will give her a head start on her goals.

She said she would like to be building experience at an airlines in 10 years, and have a house and other “basic stuff.” Her 20-year goal is to be an aircraft captain.

“I am really glad I chose career technical education,” she said. “I don’t know why more people don’t. My brother said he wished he had attended the career center in high school, and came back for adult HVAC training. His wife was in the WCCC culinary program in high school. It’s really neat that my lab is at an airport, and we can go to a real hangar, and see the airport in action. One day, we got to watch some pilots practice for an air show. I really enjoy that aspect.”

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