Friday photo: Steven Horney first solo


The moment: First solo

The pilot: Steven Horney (left) with instructor John Kline

The place: Kendallville Municipal Airport (C62), Kendallville, IN

The aircraft: Cessna 152

The memory: I completed my first solo on December 8, 2018 at the age of 58.  Flying has been a life-long dream for me, starting around the age of 5.  During my teen years, my father (a very experienced Air Force pilot, CFI, and CFI-G) began giving me some formal flight lessons, but then I went off to college, got married, etc., and I had to be content with flying model aircraft for a lot of years while I raised my family and took care of the things of life.

But for Christmas of 2017 my wife gave me the gift of a Sporty’s online ground school and a flight jacket, and encouraged me to follow my dream. I started my flight lessons late August, 2018, and Lord willing, I hope to have my Private Pilot’s License early this summer.  You can teach an old dog new tricks!


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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.