Westosha Central junior Anthony Medina successfully completed a solo flight for the school’s STEM Aviation Club earlier this month. The student became the sixth student to fly alone in the organization’s history (Submitted/The Report).

Flight possible through school’s aviation club

Westosha Central High School junior Anthony Medina, a member of the STEM Aviation Club, became the organization’s sixth student to take a solo flight aboard a plane he helped build on Dec. 2.

Medina’s flight came with challenges, according to a news release, which reported heavy air traffic.

“That day, with Flight Instructor John Putra on board, Anthony flew the traffic pattern well, there were many aircrafts in the pattern as it was the first nice day we had in over a month,” the release states.

Through Putra’s guidance, Medina employed strategies to managing traffic in flight, according to the release.

In spite of the challenges, Medina states in the release he came prepared, noting he and Putra spent time planning for the solo flight.

“Once I arrived to our airport I felt ready to fly, whether or not I was going to solo,” Medina wrote. “It was a clear day with a lot of other aircraft in the pattern. We went up and practiced my landings on runway 29.”

After a series of practice runs, the newest solo flier took control of the cockpit, flying Falcon 1 alone.

With a checklist on hand, Medina made a successful landing, crediting Putra’s instruction.

“I didn’t think about anything else other than what I was taught,” Medina wrote.

Although Medina did not build Falcon 1, according to the release, he learned the concept of the instructional aircraft by building the program’s second plane, Falcon 2.

“As far as building a plane…it is freaking awesome!” Medina said. “Building Falcon 2 lets me understand the whole concept and design of the Van’s RV-12. It is such a beautiful aircraft.”

Medina’s accomplishment was made possible through nonprofit organization Eagle’s Nest, which donated supplies and the aircraft kit for students to assemble, and program advisor James Senft.

Medina acknowledged Senft for his dedication to the program.

“He spends many many hours on maintaining our plane and fiscal aspects of our club,” Medina wrote. “His work is definitely making an impact for the future of aviation.”


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