Friday photo: Ngierot Edwards-Smith solo flight


The moment: Practice area solo

The pilot: Ngierot Edwards-Smith

The place: Orlando Sanford International Airport (KSFB), Orlando, FL

The aircraft: C172

The memory: I had just completed my solo to the practice area. It was an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment and joy. I still pinch myself some days and realize that this is real. It’s really becoming a pilot.


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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.