Friday photo: Ryan Miller first solo


The moment: first solo

The pilot: Ryan Miller

The place: Pearland Regional Airport (KLVJ), Pearland TX

The aircraft: Vans RV-12

The memory: My son’s first solo! I bought the ELSA RV-12 so that I could learn airplane maintenance work and so that my son could affordably learn to fly.  This plane was built by high school students as an Eagle’s Nest project at Clear Springs High School — you can see the names of the student builders by the tail. Ryan’s been working on his Sport Pilot license for a few months now.  My wife and I were both on hand for his early morning flight.  Perfect conditions with a light wind right down runway 14.  Three very nice full stop landings (the last one avoiding wake turbulence from a corporate jet).  His flight instructor was a former Naval RIO flying the F-14 so all his landings were crisp and short! – Patrick Miller


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It was his first airplane trip at age seven that made Eric decide to become a pilot. "While boarding the airplane, a flight attendant noticed my interest in the flight deck and urged me to go talk to the pilot. I give a lot of credit to that pilot for my career choice." He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and went on to an airline career. Eric now heads Sporty’s flight school and directs the University of Cincinnati’s Professional Pilot Training Program. In addition, Eric serves as a Captain in Sporty’s corporate flight department.